Role Models

I started this thread because I am interested to know how many out there had a good role model growing up (or still do) that wasn’t one of their parents. Someone who positively impacted your life, etc. Would you mind sharing what it was about them, their actions, and so forth that helped you directly/indirectly?

My experience:
I consider both my parents to be good role models, but being that I am the oldest child, I never really had an older brother/sister to look up to, or an older cousin close to my age.

Fortunately, in my early teens I became good friends with the older brother (2.5 years older than me) of one of my friends who really set such a great example that I tried to follow and I feel like his actions and behavior really had a positive influence on me. He was exceptionally smart and a good athlete, but more importantly, he was extremely nice to everyone, had very strong morals and his actions always showed a high level of integrity. He never used bad language, he would always help someone out if they needed it, showed respect to adults/people in a position of authority, and knew when to admit he was wrong, etc. He is Catholic, but interestingly enough wasn’t practicing, but I feel like he exhibited better morals/behavior than all of the people our age that I would see in church each week.

Eventually he went off to college and I didn’t see him all that much, but I continued to emulate the good examples he set and try to go beyond that as well. He and I still keep in touch, but live in different areas of the country now. I never formally told him that he had such a positive impact on me, but he did.

That being said, you never know who is observing you, learning from you, taking your lead, so I feel it is important to always try to set a great example…you could touch a number of lives and not ever know it.

Definitely by paternal grandmother who immigrated from Eastern Europe, fleeing Stalin. She went through things there and here in the US that no one should endure, yet I remember her glowing with love for us grandchildren during her life. She taught me how to cook the holiday foods of E. Europe and because of her side of the family, I attended Easter services at the Byzantine Church even though I was raised Roman.

Also the Sisters of Charity in NYC, Mary whom I considered my mother, and later Elizabeth Seton because she had two challenging sons to raise and I had the same.

My childhood babysitter, Mary, was a very devout Catholic woman. Her bedroom was blue and had a holy water font in it. I thought that was so cool. She taught me the sign of the cross, by example. My family wasn’t anything, but there were many times as a kid that I hit my knees and prayed using the sign of the cross. She exemplified humily and peace. Great lady.

When I was older, my fourth grade teacher was highly influential. I was a top student, but didn’t fit very well with the rest of my class because I was unusally tall for my age and also heavier than everyone else too. She was wonderfully kind to me.

In high school, my Composition and Speech teacher was a tremendous support during a very difficult time. We remained in contact over the years and I was very honored to have him ask me to give his eulogy preceding his death from cancer. His best advice to me was “Kathy dear, don’t make the mistake of building a wall around yourself. Walls do keep out hurt, but they also keep out love and understanding.”


I would say my dad, though I may not have appreciated it at the time. He was a buisness owner, worked alot, but it was like one big family. It was a mid sized print shop with about 30 employees. He wore a t-shirt and jeans everyday. He came from a poor family of 12. Most all became very successful, helping each other out, giving aways clients, presses, so the other could start thier own buisness. He would give you the shirt off his back and did at times. Though he was baptist, he gave much to the catholic church, esp. when they where putting up a new building. He donated the chalices and baptismal font. On weekends, he let a christian group from Liberia use his shop to pack clothes back home, but never told a soul. The only way I found out was I stopped by the shop one weekend and found them there doing thier thing. We always had a guest living at our house, sometimes family and once a Filipino nun. Once though, he did get excited by a letter from a house of nuns he used to donate paper to. He said excitedly, “they blessed me”, then went on with his buisness. My mom was catholic and even though my dad was baptist, I never knew of any rift between the two, just didn’t think my dad was religous. He developed MS and lost everything. He suffered 8 years with it, but never complained once. He had gone from making 275k a year to 1200 a month on disibility, but never ever complained. When he died, we had a service and the sermon was on the good samaritian. Our parish priest was their as well. I got his old pocket bible he had while in the navy. It was wore out, every page dog eared. It was then that I realised he had lived a life of silent faith and hidden good works. For awhile after his death, I worried about his eternal resting place, but then one night I had a dream about him. He was wearing a crown of rose’s. I looked up crown of rose’s on the internet and it came up “rosary”. Please remember him the next time you pray the rosary, Much thanks, Tim

My role models are people who try to live a good, clean, yet fun life. People who go to church, live as a Christian, but also go to museums, concerts, hang out with friends, watch sports-whatever you see as fun, yet clean.

I knew a priest one time who had a Goofy (The charecter from Disney) watch, had long hair, and always had a smile-I thought he was so cool!

Now that you say… No full-time male role model. Or even half-time. I saw dad twice a week for a couple of hours, then from age 15 to 22 or so I didn’t at all. My so called step-father was not one. I took after knights, adventurers and historical leaders I read about. In other ways or areas, I was my own role model. The results are, well, as they are.

Other than my wonderful father (who was an excellent role model) my paternal grandmother was a massive influence on me and my best role model.
She was a devout practising catholic.She was a wonderful ‘mother’ figure.She exuded love to everyone.She was very kind,very fair and taught me to love and respect my parents no matter what.She took me everywhere,especially when grandad died and she was alone a widow.
We spent every weekend together and were very close.I lived with my grandma when I left school for a while.
She taught me by her example of how to be a mother,how to live decently,how to have faith,how to love and be fair.She was a terrific cook and worked hard all her life.Coming from extreme poverty she was used to hardship.She was ‘tough’ in her personality when she needed to be.All her neighbours loved her even the adolescents as she was so kind and trusting.SHe would give money to lads to do some gardening even though she had very little money.

When my first baby son died,my grandma was very upset and when I was expecting my next son she died.The only thing is I didn’t know I was pregnant at the time.She told me when my baby died that she was only ‘hanging on’ to see me ‘carrying’.My grandma was ill in hospital and each day or so when I visited she would keep asking me if I had fallen pregnant,she was always disappointed for me when I told her no.Then one day I felt so sorry for her sadness,I said yes,I am expecting and she died not long after.She died on May 8th and I had conceived in April and hadn’t known.My son Stuart was born January 30th 1984,she died May 1983.
Perhaps she knew before me!
My grandma was the kindest lady I ever knew she influenced a lot about me and who I am now.
God bless her soul.

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