Glass Onion Bead Company was founded in 1990 by husband and wife team David Johnson and Debbie Austin-Johnson. While starting out as a stained glass studio, we have evolved into a bead store with the largest selection in Northeast Wisconsin. We offer a wide variety of classes with award winning bead instructors.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I had the greatest Dad ever....

I had the greatest dad in the world.  He’s been gone almost six years and I still miss him every day.  He was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back.  He gave me the greatest childhood and I didn’t even know it.  He spent his time with us instead of money on us.  He would take us to fly kites and pick hickory nuts and go swimming at Waverly Beach on hot summer nights.  He worked hard to support  my mom and me and my five sisters.  He was a pipe fitter at the Kimberly Clark Mill, and every single day he would ride his bicycle to work.  Some days I would be waiting on the corner and he would pick me up and ride me around the neighborhood on the handlebar.  He did paint by number with us and colored in coloring books and in the evenings, we would move the kitchen table and dance to the Lawrence Welk show.  We spent many nights playing rummy or doing craft projects.  (Guess where I got my love for the arts?) Dad  played school with us and made forts in the basement and ate the meat off my plate when my mom wasn't looking. 
He was just an all around great dad. 
My father was a member of the volunteer Fire Department in Kimberly.  (He is the third man in, from the right side) This photo was from the late 1940's.  He worked his way up to assistant chief and he was proud of that. The neighbor kids and I used to ride our bikes to watch the fire calls but I'd have to hide because if he saw me, I would be in deep trouble. I have his old helmet hanging on my studio wall.  See in the photo, the great antique helmets hanging off the truck?  Ya… that’s the one I have.  So cool.
One of my dad's favorite pastimes was fishing.  I think you would fish too, if you lived in a house with seven women and one bathroom.   No one wanted to go along on Saturday mornings because he never knew when to quit.  “Just one more stop, over by that shore” or “Just five more minutes and if we don’t get a bite we’ll go home”.  Never happened…. we stayed all day.  He would bring jelly beans and black licorice and the polka music would be playing and we'd use up every one of those night crawlers we picked up the night before.   Those are some of my best memories ever. 
I took my dad fishing a week before he died.  We rented a pontoon boat & got him out on the Little Wolf River.  One of his favorite spots.  He was the only one who caught a fish that day.  I know he enjoyed it because I saw that spark in his eye.  I didn't know I only had a week left with him.  This is the last picture taken of him before he past away.  I get signs from him all the time. 
I know he is good. 
Fishing somewhere for  “Just five more minutes”.  
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  
I love you more.
Words for the day….
Your Father gives you many things in a lifetime. 
Most of which you will not appreciate until way after he's gone.


  1. Lovey, I can relate. All though I didn't know my real father all that well. The time that I did have with him was sweet, and way to short.

  2. What a beautiful story. I hope my sons are as great a dad and their kids have such cherished memories.