Father Knows Best: Three coastal dads share lessons they learned about fatherhood from the men who raised them

Former Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein with his children, Lily (left), Madison and Jack. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

Cary Glickstein

58, Delray Beach

Former mayor, entrepreneur and aging surfer

His father: Hugh Glickstein, who died in 2015

His children: Madison, 26, Lily, 19, and Jack, 17

“One of the more important lessons my father passed on was you don’t get the time back. His generation was different in how fathers engaged with kids. He worked hard. He was a driven lawyer, state attorney and appellate judge, and was active with minority and child advocacy. In a public service career, he missed things with his kids, and it wasn’t until as a young adult that I came to respect why. When I became a father, he always went out of his way to compliment and encourage me to never miss a single talent show, baseball game, dance recital — and I didn’t. I kept his lesson close — that every opportunity to be with your kids is what you and they will remember — and that no amount of success can buy you back that time.”

— Jane Smith

J.J. McDonough and his sons, Van, 3 and Kane, 7, ride their bicycles on Hypoluxo Island. Photos by Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

J.J. McDonough

45, Hypoluxo Island/Lantana

Founder and CEO of Leeward Luxury Inc., a boutique staffing company

His grandfather: Ted Withall, who will be 100 in November

His children: Kane, 7, and Van, 3

“During my formative years, I lived in my grandparents’ home and received most of my core fatherly moral code from my grandfather. The vital life lessons and mantras that my grandfather instilled in me continue to mold me as I father my two boys. Commitment to your word is paramount for any relationship or undertaking. Remain true to yourself, and always treat others with integrity. Academics are important for life success, but not everything is learned in a classroom. Be consistent and be present. Continue to learn, and stay humble in the process. And finally, have fun and be playful. I attempt implementation of these few mantras every day but I’m not sure if I’m successful. I’m hoping at the very least some modeling of these mantras will shed some influence on my boys.”

— Mary Thurwachter

Martin Driscoll and three of his daughters,  Juliette, 7, pouring lemonade, Annelise, 11, and Geneviéve, 9, in Highland Beach.  Driscoll has two more children:  Ryan, 21, and Madeleine, 19.

Martin Driscoll

53, Highland Beach

Real estate development and construction executive

His father: James Patrick Driscoll, who died in 2007

His children: Ryan Alexander, 21, Madeleine Elisabeth, 19, Annelise Noelle, 11, Geneviève Grace, 9, and Juliette Evangeline, 7

“My father taught me you do not get to be a man until you understand you are not put on this Earth to serve yourself but to guide, protect and mentor your children through a good example of hard work, ethical practices and persistence. He taught me walk your talk or don’t talk at all. He taught me to love your wife in such a way that your children understand what a profound and lasting bond looks like, so they will know it when they see it for themselves someday. My dad’s favorite motto my whole life whenever we parted was ‘Pay attention and make good choices.’ Every time I part from my children be they 21 or 7, I always say, ‘I love you with all my heart and all my soul, make good choices and do great things.’ I got that from my father. Love him, miss him and have gratitude that God gave him to me as a mentor.”

— Rich Pollack

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