Local Man Authors Book about Father's Life Lessons

By Eric Olson

March 2, 2011 Updated Mar 2, 2011 at 4:13 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--By any measure John Dortch is a success; consultant, businessman..a former vice president of Parkview Hospital. A resume that masks very humble beginnings. Dortch grew up in the segregated south, in rural Alabama, in the 1940’s. One of eleven children. his father, a lumber worker with a sixth grade education, who prepared his kids well for a life of struggle.

“He thought that once you got something like an education or a skill it cannot be taken away,” Dortch says, “And you would earn an honest living.”

Dortch credits his father for his own success in life, and has written a book about him: ‘In My Fathers House, These Were The Rules’…a summary of his dad’s philosophy based on his belief that family is most important. It is family, his father believed, that instills positive values in children. Like how to deal with adversity and prejudice.

“You’re gonna have things happen to you, you’re gonna have the sexism, the racism, all of those type of things,” Dortch says. “You have to turn the other cheek. It’s very hard, it’s very very hard. But you know I think it builds character, I really do. And I’m hoping that I’ve instilled that in my two daughters.”

All John’s ten brothers and sisters went to college. All are successful. His father’s values made that happen, Dortch believes..the values outlined in his book, which he hopes will help others understand what it takes to build a successful life.

“Is your father still with you today?” he is asked. “Oh yes. Things that come about in my life, I might feel like it is a struggle, my father will say ‘don’t give up, keep on pushing. Behind every dark cloud is a ray of sunshine.’ That’s my father. He will always be with me.

Eric Olson reporting out in Your Country.

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