friday my uncle phil passed away.  i have known him most of my life (he married my aunt when i was very young) and he always had a gentle tone and served his family, church, state and others selflessly.  when i think of my dad who has so many of these same qualities, it reminds me just a week before father's day how important strong male role models can be for kids.  i'm now a father of two beautiful children myself as well as a husband, cousin, uncle, nephew, son, big brother, in law, etc. and it reminds me of just some of the ways that i can follow in the footsteps set before me by other men in my family and life that have influenced me.  phil will be missed yet remembered for all he did for others.