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Cornelius News

Honoring Dads: Special men inspire lasting values

Father’s Day is June 16.

While Father’s Day seems to be all about giving ties or shirts or fishing gear to one’s father, June 16 is really all about what fathers and father surrogates either gave or give us. Growing up isn’t the easiest thing. Dads, in whatever size, shape or form, give us the gift of pointing us in the right direction. Dads are generous, protective and loving on our behalf. He may have believed you when no one else did, or reacted temperately when others might have responded with discipline.   Some Dads might not be the most expressive, but love is expressed in many different ways.  We asked a variety of Cornelius residents about their fathers and what they learned from them.


Woody Washam Sr.

My Dad was a compassionate patriot who loved his town, state and nation. He loved his church and lived his faith. If you attended Mt. Zion UMC, you would meet and be welcomed by Woody Sr. He was a big man physically, more than 6 feet tall and bigger than life to me. Spending nearly 40 years with Duke Power Co. where he literally helped establish Lake Norman, he knew almost every inch of its shoreline. He loved his family and especially his grandchildren. His was a life that mattered and one that truly made a difference as he had such a great impact on his church and community. He is without question my role model.

—Woody Washam Jr.

Washam is mayor of Cornelius and a lifelong resident




Bob Armstrong

My dad, Bob Armstrong, passed away a few years ago after a battle with cancer. Father’s Day to me has even more meaning now that he’s gone. It’s a day to think about what it means to be a dad and all the things that he instilled in me, my sister and his grandchildren. He was a very approachable man who never met a stranger and he always had a smile for you. He had great nicknames for almost everyone in his life and made each person who he ever met feel special. Finally, he was the best dad, grandpa, husband and friend that anyone could ever ask for.

—Todd Armstrong

Armstrong lives in Cornelius and owns Fitness Machine Technicians of North Charlotte



Arthur Chartrand

My Dad passed away on June 19, 2016, which was Father’s Day that year. It was the saddest Father’s Day I’ve ever experienced. When Father’s Day comes around each year now, I reminisce about all that I loved about him. I am comforted by the fact that I was with him in his last hours, as he lived in Ohio. I felt lucky to have made it to Ohio and shared several hours with him before he passed. He had such great work ethic, working very hard for years for our large family of 13. And, he surely knew how to tell a story. My Dad was one of 10 children and the only boy. Therefore, he knew how to live with women (haha!), which provided him with well-needed experience to raise five daughters. His presence in my life made me the independent, strong woman I am today

Jean Enyeart

Enyeart is a Cornelius resident and works as a Medicare consultant




Roger Porubsky

My Dad is a survivor and an inspiration. He’s 78 and the friendly safety officer at The Range at Lake Norman. He is the oldest of seven kids raised by European immigrant parents during the Great Depression. He survived high school while caring for his siblings. He survived the doctor telling him his only son was developmentally disabled. He survived moving his family for a better life from a large city to a tiny North Carolina town. My Dad survived the disappointment of massive debt and dug his way out of it. He quit smoking at age 56 so his granddaughter would kiss him again then survived three smoking-related cancers, a lung removal, throat surgery, chemo and radiation. By the grace of God, Dad survived because his family needed him and family is the most important thing to him. My Dad has taught me integrity, ingenuity, perseverance. But most of all he’s taught me that by surviving, you can thrive.

—Tricia Sisson

Sisson, who ran for Cornelius Town Board in 2017, is the volunteer chair of the Lake Norman Chamber



Carlton Lizzote

This father of two sons and a daughter left a legacy of fond memories and good lessons. He shared a strong faith with others and was known for driving a church bus while wearing a 10-gallon “statement hat.” He chopped enough wood for his sister to get through a New England winter and sat patiently as his daughter, an aspiring salon stylist at the time, practiced on his hair. Carlton lived the example of enjoying simple things, like a baby goat and other animals, nature walks and horseback rides in the mountains. He was a Navy veteran and former lumberjack with a gentle spirit…he was married for 49 years and spent 30 years with a local company. Later in life, he earned a high school degree.

Jeannie Williams

Williams and her husband own the Salon Cafe in