KGVO News reached out to several Missoula area officials this week asking them to share memories of their Dads as Father's Day approaches this Sunday.

The first to respond was Missoula County Commissioner Nicole (Cola) Rowley, who began by expressing her love and appreciation for her father.

"It's important to start with the fact that I love and respect my Dad," Rowley said. "There are three things that really come to my mind, the first that he was always very supportive. I don't remember him ever telling me I couldn't do anything or what I should do. He let me find my own path. He was firm and kept me in line, but like every daughter says about her dad, he was really just a big softie."

"Secondly, he has a great sense of humor, and I think that has been one of the greatest gifts I got from my dad. Lastly, my dad is a very hard worker. Hard work is a very important quality and I hope that was installed in me as well. I like to believe that I grew up to be a well rounded and good person and my dad deserves a lot of the credit and taught me more than I can express or even know. So, I only hope that my children grow up to be happy and fulfilled, and to think of me like I think of my parents."

Commissioner Rowley's father still resides in Sidney, Montana

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Mark Thane

The other Missoula official is Superintendent of Missoula School District One, Mark Thane.

His story is remarkably different that Commissioner Rowley, due to the fact that Mark's father passed away when he was only eight years old. However, his father's influence has been felt throughout his life

"In many respects I'm very fortunate because I'm part of a very large family," Thane said. "I'm eighth out of nine children, and although my father passed away when I was only eight years old, he's lived on in family stories, and obviously those values and the heritage have been passed on that way."

Thane said his father was very proud of his Irish heritage.

"There were a lot of old Irish songs," he said. "He was a man of great faith, and that faith has been passed along to me and on to the children that I now have. Then, there were the stories. He was a small businessman and he had a very special place in his heart for Flathead Lake, and that's something we've all treasured being able to live nearby. Those are the things that are primary for me."

Our thanks to Commissioner Rowley and Superintendent Thane for sharing those personal recollections on this Father's Day weekend. Happy Father's Day to all our KGVO listeners and website readers.

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