Written by Riezl Baker, Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group


For this month, I celebrate all the dads especially those featured in this article. They are not only dads but mentors, coaches, problem-solvers and motivators. They are true leaders not only in their respective fields, but at home, where they care for their families and love them unconditionally. I reached out to the children of these dads through family members and social media, they were overjoyed to share about the role model who helped shape them. This article may take these dads by total surprise but one thing is for sure, these beautiful words will touch their and your hearts.


“Anyone can be a father, but not everybody can be a DAD.”


DERIN MOORE, Executive Chef and Culinary Director, Reynolds Lake Oconee

My dad is the greatest because ..

He is a hardworking guy with a BIG heart, a great sense of humor and his main goal in life is to love and support his family.”

What I admire most?

“I admire his passion to take care of his family, always making sure that everyone is happy.”

His hobbies?

“When he is not in the kitchen, he loves to play golf and spend relaxing time at home with his dogs.”

What he taught me in life…

“The best life lesson he has taught me is to always rise up to the occasion, whether it is about school, work, family or a friend in need.”


—Lindsey Moore, Chef Derin’s daughter


RICARDO PATTON, Basketball Coach, University of Colorado

My dad is the greatest because..

He is honest, disciplined, courageous and caring.”

His quality that I admire most:

“I admire Dad’s strong work ethic! When he puts his mind into something, he is committed to it the best he can be.”

His pet peeve?

“Lack of effort. His favorite saying is ‘I am not hard to Work with, but I am hard to Loaf with.’”

Best life lessons he has taught me and my brother:

“He always taught us to give through actions. He is always willing to take time to teach and help others. When we were younger, he would invite our friends over for Tae Kwon Do, golf lessons or teach them how to ride horses. He’s a great teacher, supporter, leader, partner and more importantly, he loves us unconditionally.”


–Michael Patton, Ricardo’s Son


BOB GOUR, Chef and Owner, Café 44

My dad is the greatest because

“He is humble, hardworking, a great storyteller and he is one of a kind!”

What I admire most about him?

“I admire his tireless energy and drive. He does more in a day than I can accomplish in one week.”

His favorite hobby?

“If he can ever slow down, he loves spending time to relax on the lake and being a ‘GrandBob’,”

Lessons I learned from Dad:

“My Dad taught me how to be creative in the kitchen.  He taught me to love, to have fun and not take myself too seriously. He allowed me to make mistakes and navigate through the solution while never letting me fall. He has been the perfect role model of what a parent should be and now I get to experience him being the perfect Grandfather to my daughter.”


–Jessie Johnson, Bob’s daughter


LOUIE SEABOLT, Chairman, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Foundation Board

My dad is the greatest because..

“He is hardworking, and he never quits.”

Best lesson he taught me?

“It didn’t matter what you wanted to be in life, just be the best at it. I remember him saying, you can be a ditch digger if you want, but be the best one.”

His favorite hobby and pet peeve?

“Dad likes to play backgammon and he hates the sound of flip flops!”

What I love about him?

“Dad is encouraging and forgiving. He will always ask for your opinion and will discuss it with you. I love that he always takes time to listen.”


–Susan Mashburn, Louie’s daughter


ROGER MEYER, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

My dad is the greatest because

“He is not only an accomplished physician, an avid tennis player, and a talented musician, he is also a caring, generous and loving father.”

What I admire most?

“I admire my dad’s dedication and attention to detail. He accomplishes everything he sets out to do and does it well. Dad likes to take charge and coordinate meals, family gatherings, and travels. We let him because he’s good at it and enjoys being the patriarch, while incorporating each of our strengths.”

His pet peeve?

“He cannot stand anyone getting in his way in the kitchen! He’s a great cook, but we have to stand back and watch the magic happen.”

Life’s best lesson?

“Dad has taught me that’s there’s no substitute for hard work, education, and kindness. These three things are the keys to success and happiness.”


–Jennifer Bielli, Roger’s daughter


TED BAKER, Principal/Managing Broker, Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group

My dad is the greatest because…

“He is a selfless and compassionate man; Dad inspires me every day with his faith and his ability to love unconditionally. He is the kindest person I know. For as long as I can remember, Dad has always been the person who stops on the side of the road to help someone with a flat tire or a ride to the gas station.”

Dad’s pet peeve?

“Dad can’t stand tardiness, which comes from his days as a football player, but he has learned to let it slide when it is out of his control.”

The biggest lesson in life he has taught me…

“Dad teaches me humility every day. Dad has accomplished a great deal in his life, but he hands the spotlight off to others without hesitation.”

Dad’s best qualities are…

“He has the uncanny knack for knowing exactly when to give a hug or words of encouragement when it is needed. He cares so deeply for everyone in our family and never hesitates to take care of us before himself. I am immeasurably grateful to have him as my father.”


–Stu Baker, Ted’s son





Written by Riezl Baker


Easter is one my favorite holidays for many reasons. It signals the beginning of Spring and brings the hope of a bright and warmer weather. Flowers bloom and colors cover the horizon. Easter also signals a time of reconnecting with family and friends through traditions. As a child, I remember getting up early for sunrise mass, and in my Sunday best, anticipating what seemed like the biggest egg hunt ever. These days,I still look forward to the beautiful celebration of the Lord’s resurrection and the day’s festivities shared with our family and friends, with the setting of the sun as the day’s colorful grand finale. Several of my favorite friends share their Easter traditions:


“Unlike days past when mom fit all the girls in white patent shoes, Easter bonnets, and the boys in clean clothes with socks and shoes, Dave and I play golf on Easter Sunday. We have non-golfing friends who come for dinner or we go to one of the clubs.  Of course on a sunny Easter day, the boat beckons us to the lake.” – Elaine Thillen,




“Our three boys, Matthew (11), Jordan (9) and Brandon (6) love the Easter Egg hunt at the Reynolds Commons. It is packed with kids from the community, as well as visiting grandchildren and families, and they have so much fun making new friends. We go to church on Easter morning, followed by brunch at one of the clubs. The Lake Club Easter brunch is fantastic and has become our favorite!” – Jennifer Vaughan




“We built our home in Reynolds while living in England and moved to the community full time in 2009. We are very active parishioners of the Catholic church and attend the early Easter service, followed by golf with the boys. The day ends with a delicious Prime Rib dinner that I prepare for the boys.”

-Patty Dailey



“Denny and I first moved to Lake Oconee in 2015 with our three kids Taylor (17), Ty (15), and Trace (13). Easter has always been a special time for us to gather together with our church and family to celebrate Him. We moved from Northridge Christian Church in Milledgevile to Lakepoint Christian Church in Eatonton where it has become an Easter tradition to attend Easter service at the Rainey family’s farm, the Briarpatch.

After the service, we go to a large family gathering for an Easter egg hunt with four generations, play baseball, ride  four wheelers, play with the farm chickens. As long as the weather allows, we end the night with a relaxing boat ride on Lake Oconee with our Fur-babies feeling grateful for all He has provided. “

-Ally Wood

Written by Riezl Baker, Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group

We have a wonderful community for all ages– one that offers a multitude of amenities and endless activities that build connection and fosters interaction across generations. Over the past years, we have welcomed a new generation of young parents, who gave up the urban life, to strike a balance for a quality of life. They value being close to family and friends, and were drawn to the area for it’s beauty, vibrancy and the safe environment it provides. I recently chatted with friends who made the decision (B.C.-before children) to raise their families in the area, and are making a difference by getting involved and giving back to the community.




Stephanie, Jeff, Jack (4), Isaac (3), Baby Boy #3 due on August 19th

From Carlsbad to Oconee

Steph: “Jeff’s parents moved to Reynolds and also moved the family business, Aalto Scientific, to the area. We moved to Reynolds in December of 2014. When we moved to the area Jack was just 2 months old. What we loved most about the community is how welcoming everyone was when we moved here and how supportive the community has been since then. When anyone in the family was sick or when I had another child, the outpour of support was pleasantly surprising from people dropping off food to running errands for me or offering to care for my children. The offers were very genuine and it was very comforting to know that there were so many people willing to help out.”

Jeff: “We spend a lot of time at home where the kids play outside; we value the safety that we feel within the community. We do not worry about our kids playing outside or are concerned about high traffic. The Lake Club work out facility is also a huge perk!. The facility is very nice and has all the equipment I would expect from a high-end gym. “


The Mauros’ have sponsored the Tees for Titans and Denim and Diamonds benefiting Lake Oconee Academy. They have also supported the efforts of St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation. At Christmas time, Aalto Scietific also host a Christmas “giving tree” where Christmas gifts and supplies are donated to the Circle of Love charity in Greensboro, Georgia.