The phenomenal fathers raising Keys kids

Dads are more than a go-to for car troubles or opening up that pesky, tight jar top. They’re dedicated and take time to show their loved ones the way. They enjoy adventures with their kids, and they even like to embarrass their sons and daughters a time or two. With Father’s Day approaching, the Keys Weekly is proud to showcase just a few of the many special dads, grand-dads, step-dads and dad-in-laws throughout the Keys. To all dads out there: Happy Father’s Day. 

“Our dad is a very selfless person who goes out of his way to create new positive experiences for people lucky enough to be around him. He constantly encourages us to further our education, and always values the time he spends with us.”

— Chase and Emerson Fariss
Pictured, from left, Chase, Bruce, April and Emerson Fariss

“Thanks, Dad, for teaching me ‘our songs,’ for loving me unconditionally; showing me how a man treats the woman he loves and never letting me settle for less.”

— Mandy Miles

Derek Norman of DRN Moving, with wife Jacqui and Kara, Emma and Taryn.
“Our dad rocks because he takes time to find and do things together that we love, like scuba diving!”
— Kara Norman

“Call him Chris, Captain or Coach, but his biggest fans just call him Daddy. Happy Father’s Day!”
— Eva, 10, Billy, 8, and wife, Michelle Norwood

“My dad (DAVID MOOK) is unexplainable. He always makes difficult, everyday tasks easier. And despite all he’s been through, he makes the best of every moment.”
— daughter Lilia.

Marc Anderson of Key Colony Beach gets high marks from his daughter, Jena. She said, “My dad rocks because he’s always there for me — no matter how young or old, near or far. Oh, and he’s always up to go fishing!”

Put a big, chill dude with his two kids and they — wait for it — chill. City of Marathon’s Andre Garvey and his son Andre, 15, and daughter Jaylin, 12, like to have dinner together or watch movies.  


The Keys Weekly is honored that Jeanine and Patrick D’Amico chose us for the big reveal: the two will be having a baby sometime in December. The onesie reads “Well played, Quarantine. Arriving December 2020.” Congratulations to the soon-to-be-dad!



Four generations of Gratton men gather for a photo op: Chris, John, Rio and Josh. The Marathon family sums it up with two quotes: “Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with lots of nuts” and “I smile because you’re my father; I laugh because there’s nothing you can do about it.” Sounds about right.

New Life Assembly of God’s pastor Keith LaFountain has a big family. “My joy is just to see them embrace life and all of its blessings. To share in their joy of life is my greatest reward,” he said. Pictured are his son Brandon, left, granddaughter Mia, son-in-law Mark Climo, daughter Adrienne Climo, grandson Carter, wife Debra, and LaFountain.  


Duck Key resident Lavarski Smith has 2.8 children: Lavarski Smith Jr., 10, Myalin Smith, 8, and Maliyah Smith, who is due in August. “Being a dad is about teaching and growing with my kids. I enjoy seeing their faces light up for things that’re so simple, like playing Roblox with my boy or playing Barbie and Ken with my little princess.” Smith is the district manager for Coca-Cola in the Florida Keys. (The dog’s name is Jax.) 

“The best gift I ever gave my dad, John Newton, is his son-in-law Mark Matthis,” said Keys Weekly’s Sara Matthis. “On this particular weekend Mark gave my dad a quarantine haircut. Please note who he trusts with the scissors. Seriously, though, I love to see their friendship.”

Cool dad, cool son — that’s how it goes. Elizabeth Schut said her husband Derek SCHUT is always there for her and their son, Cash, 13. “He can fix anything. And he’s the biggest goofball that will keep you smiling every day.”

Wendy Sipe engaged her kids — Logan, 20, Kayla, 15, and Taylor, 14 — with a lively text message exchange about their dad, AARON SIPE. They came up with this: “He’s our patience, our calm, our drop-everything-at-any-time-and-be-there for-us-ALWAYS dad. He’s taught us to work hard and be there for people, to always lend a hand. He keeps us laughing daily, but especially on long car rides with his terrible dad dance moves.” Good work, guys.

Look who’s ready to spend his father’s day with his brand new son? Luke Geradot and his wife Guinevere welcomed Logan on May 9 at Lower Keys Medical Center. She’s a teacher, he’s a coastie and the family resides on Big Pine Key. 

“Quinn loves to learn Georgia Bulldogs football chants, how to give the biggest hugs and so many other amazing lessons from her amazing dad, Bobby Wallace.”
— Audra Wallace, wife, Key Largo 

“My dad Terry Abel always wants to help and make you happy any way he can. He pays attention to things you like and tries to keep doing them.”
— Caitlyn and Emma, daughters, Islamorada

“Timmy Arce is the best dad ever because he would do anything in the world for his girls. We are so lucky to have you!”
  Addison, Joey and Marley, daughters, and Sam, wife, Islamorada


“My father Norman Penn is the foundation of our family. His integrity and work ethic, along with a whole lot of patience and guidance, has earned him the title of an incredible dad. Happy Father’s Day, dad.  We love and celebrate you.”
— Landson Snyder, great-grandson, Penny Penn, daughter, Coral Snyder, great-granddaughter, Patrick Penn, son, Tavernier 

“Our dad Jason Webb is the best because he makes any situation fun. He takes us to do the most exciting things, and he makes the best food! He also gives us giant hugs every morning!”
— Trenton, Connor, Liam and Finn, sons, Key Largo 

“Victor Franchisi is the most amazing dad because he is such a good role model on how to treat others, communication, using manners with everyone you meet, respect and about working hard. He also plays with his kids all the time — whether it’s Barbies, dress up, or even makeup with Mikayla, to video games or fishing.”
— Christi Allen Franchisi, wife, Mikayla, daughter, and Vic, son, Key Largo 

“My dad Steve Hurt is super awesome and he has always been there for me. I love my dad more than anything and I can’t wait to spend more years hanging with my dad!”
— Brian Hurt, son, Key Largo







“We want to recognize and thank our Scoutmaster Ariel Poholek, for being more than a Scout leader. Thank you for being a mentor, friend and role model for what a kind, involved and devoted father is. We have learned so much in your care. Wishing you love and support on this day! Happy Father’s Day.”
— Boy Scouts of America Troop 912, Tavernier

“My father Aaron Austin is a remarkable person and an excellent parent. I have always loved him not only because of his kindness and him being there for me, but also for who he is as a person.”
— Aidan Austin, son, Key Largo

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