a collage of photos of people and their families

They’re quick with a joke or the turn of a wrench, they’re always willing to teach their kids the best tips and tricks, and they’re the undisputed number one source of eye-rolls for moms across the globe. No matter what passions, knowledge or pranks they pass on to their kids, we love them. From all of us at the Keys Weekly, we’d like to wish all the dads in our islands and beyond as we tip our caps to just a few of the Middle Keys’ finest.

a couple of men standing next to each other near the ocean


Matt’s proudest dad moment: When Caden was first learning to talk, we watched ‘Transformers’ when Reetta was not home. One Decepticon referred to a female as the B word. Reetta came home while we were still watching the movie and Caden told Reetta her name is the B word. Reetta was very pleased with me.”

a man and a woman standing next to each other


Why he’s a special dad: “My dad is my hero,” said daughter Claire. “He is the most loving, hard-working, fun, talented, strong and gentle beefcake you’ll ever meet.” Photo by Kinsey Beck.

a group of people standing next to each other


Why he’s a special dad: “Omar is always there when we need him and gives great advice. He’s not just a dad, but a best friend and father figure to everyone. He takes care of the people he loves, will always have your back, makes sure his kids are safe and taken care of, and is always there to help pick you back up after you fall.” Submitted by his family: Nicole, Omar III and Madison.

a man and a little girl standing next to a monument


His funniest dad moment: “There was a moment I knew my daughter Cadence was just like me. In preschool, the teacher asked the class what they would see on a tree hunt. The teacher wrote down some example answers: leaves, squirrels, pine cones. My daughter Cadence’s answer was ‘trees.’ Yep, Captain Obvious.”

a group of people standing on top of a field holding a trophy


Luis’ proudest dad moment: “Watching Penelope and Trey be adventurous and try new things. Seeing them come into their own while doing many of the things I did as a Keys kid has been amazing to see. Watching them grow up the way me and my wife did is pretty special.” 

a man and two children are in the water


What makes him a special dad? Dale is truly selfless, and he’s not afraid to be silly. Kaylynn and I are always laughing! Submitted by his wife Courtney.

a man standing next to a little girl


What makes him a special dad? Amelia Nealis says her favorite thing about her daddy, captain Mike Nealis, is he’s funny and always shares his sushi with her. Happy Father’s Day and Happy 40th Birthday! Submitted by his wife Blair.

a man and two children sitting on the hood of a car


His funniest dad moment: “I love being a dad to my daughter Emma, son Beau and stepson Jaxson Cameron. But sometimes I forget Emma is like a little parrot. She repeats EVERYTHING her potty mouth dad says!”

a group of people on a boat in the water


What makes him a special dad: “He’s been everything you could want in a dad. He’s helped us become the men we are today teaching us about life every step of the way. Thank you for everything and happy Father’s Day!” Submitted by his family: Sandy, Tyler, Sean and Roscoe

a group of people posing for a picture


He’s a special dad because: “My dad is super reliable and always there to support my sister and I. He’s the backbone to our family and we wouldn’t be the same without him.” Submitted by his daughter Marquisha.

three women and a man posing for a picture on the beach


His proudest dad moment: The proudest days of my life were the days my beautiful daughters were born.

a group of men standing next to each other in front of a brick building


His proudest dad moment: My proudest moment is realizing that all three boys are now great young men!

a family poses for a photo on the beach


His proudest dad moment: Witnessing the joy and wonder in my children’s eyes as they fell in love with the Florida Keys and the ocean. This connection they formed inspired my wife and I to take a leap of faith and move our lives from Texas to this incredible area. Seeing our kids thrive, exploring the shores, learning about the ocean, and becoming a part of this wonderful island community fills me with immense pride and gratitude. 

a group of people standing next to each other


He’s a special dad because: He’s hardworking, provides for us and always looks out for us. And he makes us laugh – he’s one of the funniest people we know. Submitted by his family: Patti, Max and Carley.

a group of people standing on top of a football field


He’s a proud dad because: Having been a single dad for 16 years; myself, Dayanna, Thomas, and Elena have been so richly blessed by this amazing community and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

a group of people posing for a picture with a dog


His family says: “To the best Hubby, Dad, PoPo, and Tio with love so true. On this Father’s Day, we honor you. For all your love, laughter and wisdom, we say thank you! Love, your Jenni, Karissa, Kris, Niko, Ethan, AJ, Aria, Emi, Elliot, Emmett, Nora, Emily and Danny.”

a group of people petting a capy animal


His proudest dad moment: My proudest moment as a father is seeing my daughters choose to follow Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior. Also, both of my girls do jiu jitsu, and I am proud of them fighting hard every time they get on the mat.

a man and a young boy pose for a picture on a baseball field


He’s a special dad because: James is the “do it all” dad. If he’s not working, you’ll most likely find him at the community park coaching whatever sport is in season. He is generous with his time and knowledge – especially if it pertains to boats or fishing. We are lucky to have him! Submitted by his wife, Sarah.

a man and two children standing in front of a house


His proudest dad moment: Teaching and coaching Casen to play the game of baseball that I played for 26 years growing up, and making sure that Jess and the kids are always well taken care of.

a group of people standing next to each other on a lush green field


From his family: “You’re the best, Dad. Love from all your girls!” Submitted by his family: Jessica, Sofia, Monroe and Maeve.


Keith’s fun moments as a dad: We’ve had many funny memories as a family particularly when we were cruising on our sailboat. The hippies photo is an example. Another was having our daughters dress up for Halloween and going trick or treating by dinghy to other boats anchored in the harbor in Beaufort, S.C. I’ve also had many proud moments as a father such as watching them receive awards for their accomplishments as Girl Scouts and seeing them now as grown women with careers where they help others and their communities.


Why he’s a special dad: My husband makes such a special dad because he has always been there for our family and children. He is their father, pastor, coach and friend. He sets a great example for them and puts Christ at the center of our family and lives with a servant’s heart. He is wise, hardworking, patient, and is willing to give his time, resources and love without expecting anything in return. Submitted by his wife Jill Campbell

Alex Rickert
Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.