The Richest Man I Know, My Father

The richest man I know, my father, who never made a lot of money.  Today is my father’s 73rd birthday.  I have always believed, as long as I can remember, that his children and his wife were the most important parts of his life.  My father continues his selflessness by his generous love and compassion he shares with his grandchildren.  His self-made wealth is in the form of integrity, love, and a willingness to always give his time, talent, and resources to anyone, mostly his family.

My father, at the age of five, lost his mother to cancer.  He was living in Milwaukee with his mother’s parents, German immigrants, and his uncles.  My grandfather, at the time, was starting his business career in Sheboygan.  My dad fondly tells stories of hearing the train coming to town on a particular weekend knowing his father would be on it.  Once his father got on his feet in Sheboygan my dad was able to move there to be with him.

My grandfather then found more business opportunity in Two Rivers.  That is where they finally settled down.  Steltz Plumbing and Heating opened sometime in the 1950’s and remains running today.  My father, like his father, uncles, and cousins, was…and still is a master plumber.  A humbling, blue collar job that kept food on the table for his family, his wife and five children.

My siblings, Julie, Ellen, David, and Barbara, have always looked up to my father and still do.  My father has shared his faith with all of us and lived his life as the greatest example of how to raise a family.  He rarely raised a hand to any of us and never missed an opportunity to tell any one of us how proud he is of us.He has been the long running thread that has tied together the tapestry of our family.  The richest man I know, my father.  Married for over 51 years, and self-employed business man, and father to five children, my father never asked or yearned for anything more.  We are grateful for his love, committment, and compassion to all of us.

Happy Birthday Dad!!  We are proud of you!!   I love you.


About jpsteltz

Proud husband and father of four; Literacy Specialist; Reading Teacher; Literacy Coach; HS ELA Teacher; Published Author
This entry was posted in Faith, Family, Parenting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Richest Man I Know, My Father

  1. orginial bluedevil says:

    Happy Birthday Tom! I love your stories about your family when they were growing up…especially the stories of your youngest boy! Enjoy the day.


  2. Kay Stangel says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your father. I agree with everything you said – your father is a truly good person.
    Happy Birthday Tom!


  3. Julie Steltz says:

    Happy Birthday Dad !!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ellen says:

    Thanks, John, for writing this about Dad. Sometimes I think words don’t seem to fully express the true depth of our father’s character. There has never been a time in my life when he hasn’t been available for me…always a hug, a shoulder to cry on, kind and gentle words of encouragement, always my biggest fan.


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