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Father's Day

A Tribute to Special Dads!

Our Tribute Feature is open to anyone who would like to honor a loved one by sharing the “story” behind their well dedication. We kicked this off last month with tributes to our moms & on Father’s Day, we’re following suit!

Our fathers, Dean Ramsey & John Wolff, both share some similar qualities, of which we’re very proud. They’ve both extremely hard-working, detail-oriented & committed to quality! On this special day, we’d like to express our admiration for them, along with our gratitude to them for the ethics they’ve instilled in us and our appreciation for the very the important roles they play in our lives.

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Dean Ramsey, born & raised in Ohio, spent the better part of his school years breaking records in basketball & pitching no-hitters. In HS, he became smitten by Norma, the class Valedictorian & realized studies ALSO had to become a priority. 😉 He married his HS sweetheart & graduated 1st in his class in the Navy, which was the beginning of a lifelong career in the field of aviation, spanning everything from maintenance, flying, teaching, testing & airport management.

Many are unaware of the sacrifices Dean made to ensure that Mark could get the level of medical care needed to address life threatening allergic reactions in his early childhood. Mark developed mechanical skills & goal setting by working side-by-side with his father in the family aviation business. Regardless of the hours Dean worked in the business, he always made time to support Mark’s passions, from HS band to college theater & everything in between. Dean did not tell Mark how to live, he lived and let Mark learn from the examples he set….the definition of a great father!

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In celebration of John Wolff’s birthday, his daughters, Trina & Lisa wrote him a poem, which serves as their tribute to him. The sentiments conveyed are best understood with knowledge of his background: Born in a Romanian German-speaking village, as a child, he became a refugee when they were forced to flee prior to a Russian invasion. After spending time in Hungary, Poland & later residing in Austria, he became an apprentice at a flour mill as a young teen, earning literally pennies per hour to help support himself & his family. At 21, he came to the US with only $20 in his pocket, knowing just a few words of English & facing what would become a challenging path. Nonetheless, he not only persevered, but thrived & we’re forever grateful to him for the work ethic he modeled, his lifelong love of education and his kind & generous nature….our poem says it all!

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And lastly, a tribute to Ernesto Sperduti, the maternal grandfather of Trina & her sister, Lisa Ross, the latter of whom wrote the following:

When I think of my Italian grandpa, I just smile and shake my head and the most satisfying feeling settles over me, as if I'm enjoying the most delicious secret that only he and I shared. Like we were a club of two, and anyone could have been a member had they wanted to, but somehow we were the only ones who understood the rules of entrance. It was an exclusive club and my membership lasted my entire childhood. And it is among my favorite places to go in my childhood memories...

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Grandpa was the best sort of character, because he always let me see his soft underbelly hidden beneath his often gruff, thickly-accented, impatient-with-others public self that I always knew wasn't who he really was inside. I think of the dollar he would give me to buy ice cream, and I smile. I know this was an act of generosity that felt like a wicked indulgence visited only upon a very select few of the innermost circle. I think of the harmonica tunes he would play, and the times he would bounce me on his knee. I remember so fondly the image of my mother's homemade Italian tomato sauce that would somehow end up on the tip of his strong Roman nose as he ate.

I love reminiscing about the times he would patiently review my spelling words with me as I prepped for spelling bees, or when he would tell me long stories from his childhood as a shepherd boy on the village mountainside where he grew up in Patrica. He invited me into this secret club with every Sunday dinner visit when he would stay until late evening time after an afternoon of card playing or just napping and relaxing in that slow and unhurried way when long hours stretch out with no set time to end the visit. His easy company was as natural as a lazy Sunday and my life will forever be immeasurably blessed by the hours I spent near the closest thing I could imagine to a foreign world, from a long ago time and faraway place....all carefully tucked into the most colorful man I've ever met since. Grandpa Ernesto Sperduti----how grateful I am for all the many gifts he gave me that are mine to enjoy at a moment's notice, with a bit of my own Mona Lisa smile ----all in the eyes.

In closing, we invite you to share a tribute to your own fathers, grandfathers & other loved ones in the comments below (or send an email to if you’re interested in sharing a more detailed tribute in a future post on MTRF’s Drop by Drop Blog). We’d love to hear from you!