Don Carruth has been celebrating Father’s Day since he first became a Dad 86 years ago. Now almost 106 years old, he’s likely celebrated more Father’s Days than anyone else at Presbyterian Homes & Services (and probably the entire state of Minnesota).
Don prefers his sitting chair in his apartment at SummerWood of Chanhassen over almost anywhere else. But what makes it even better, is when his family comes to visit and fills his apartment with cherished company.
According to Don’s youngest of four children, Bob Carruth, the way to Don’s heart is not through sentimental gifts but simply, spending quality time with him. Don says that if it weren’t for his family, he wouldn’t have lived to 105. So this Father’s Day, he counts on a visit from his children and their children and his children’s, children’s, children. (It gets a little complicated.)
Born during the Depression Era, Don is a no-frills, non-sentimental kind of man. He believes you get where you want to be in life simply by hard work and integrity and he demanded the respect of his children and the students in the schools where he was the headmaster. He worked in school administration for 37 years and served in the US Navy for two years within that time.
Don was also the head coach of his son’s baseball teams for many years. “He was always there for us, 100%” said Bob. “He led by example and gave us a compass for our lives.”
He passed his parenting style down to his kids who say that they didn’t cross their dad often, but if they did, they remember their dad as being stern and uncomplicated. They knew he simply wanted them to be good, hard working people. That’s it.
“My siblings and I are more like our dad than we realize. He lived his life with hard work and integrity because he knew that’s what he had to do in order to succeed in life. Everything he earned was through his own hard work” Bob reminisced.
Each Father’s Day brings a new opportunity to reflect on the role our fathers had in shaping who we are today. As for the Carruths, they’ve been blessed with many Father’s Day celebrations with Don and look forward to celebrating again this weekend.