25 Families Salute Their Dads Serving as Essential Workers During the Coronavirus

This Father's Day weekend, families across the country recognize the dads who have served as essential workers throughout the Coronavirus.

By Mike Vulpo Jun 21, 2020 10:00 AMTags
Essential Father's Day DadsInstagram @stevexshannon518

Let's hear it for the dads!

There's no question that this Father's Day will look quite different for many families. With the Coronavirus still impacting the country, families have had to adjust their celebrations with smaller gatherings, social distancing and more.

But as dads feel the love from their sons and daughters this Sunday, E! News is taking the time to recognize just some of the many impressive fathers who have also served as essential workers during the pandemic.

From doctors and nurses on the front lines to grocery store managers who never closed their stores, many employees faced new challenges in the workforce. But through it all, they also made family and parenting a priority. 

Just ask UPS driver Steve Shannon who has had more stops than ever before thanks to online shoppers. But one afternoon, the proud dad safely enjoyed a unique meal with his kids.

"The wife had an appointment for the baby and the kids couldn't come in because of #Coronavirus so I took my lunch break to hang with them," the Florida resident shared on Instagram. "It's been raining all day so an outside picnic was out of the question. Got permission to set up shop in the back of my @ups truck." 

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Steve is just one of the many dads we wanted to spotlight for their dedication.

And while highlighting every father and essential job is impossible, we certainly scanned the country and found some hard-working men to recognize on this holiday.

Get inspired with their stories in our gallery below. And yes, don't forget to thank the dad in your life today.

Emmanuel Abreu

AAA Road Service in Long Island, New York 

"We relocated to New York from Los Angeles in late February and then COVID-19 hit and turned our plans upside down. With no work in the entertainment industry as a DJ, Emmanuel knew he had to do something so he put his passion aside to get out there and provide service to others on the road. He works long hours, leaving before our daughter wakes up and coming home after she goes to bed, six days a week. When he is home, he's the best dad—they love spending time together coloring and playing—he even shares his love of music and DJ'ing with her and she's starting to love it too" —Emmanuel's partner Elise Lebron

Joe Brito lll

Alcohol/Beer Sales Managers for Grocery Stores in Sarasota, Florida

"Our son was born prematurely at 35 weeks and earned himself a stint in NICU. Shortly thereafter, the pandemic set in and we found ourselves facing the same challenges as everyone else—but with the fear of a vulnerable newborn at home, the acceptance that my husband was deemed an essential worker and the conflict those two realities created. Regardless of our apprehensions and true to his character, Joe took every precaution necessary to protect our child, worked weeks without a single day off and continued to provide for his family—all without a single complaint. There will never be enough words to express my gratitude to him as a husband and a father, especially under these circumstances." —Joe's wife Alycia Brito

Dr. Cedric "Jamie" Rutland

Pulmonary/Critical Care Doctor and National Spokesperson for American Lung Association in Orange County, Calif. 

"He has shown us beauty within the chaos; how he balances the challenges, the sadness, exhaustion and, at times defeat, with pure humanity and grace only to come home and carve out quality time with his little girls—showing them Lung abnormalities and singing happy birthday as they wash their hands side by side. The image of them standing together at the sink in such a simple way during such a difficult time symbolizes his unwavering love and commitment as a father. His patients are always so grateful for him and so are we." —Dr. Cedric's wife Dorey Rutland

Andres Cerda

Smart & Final Store Manager in Porterville, Calif.

"My dad is the best. I couldn't ask for a better dad. He pushes and encourages me to be my best, even when I beat him in golf. My dad is my idol and I love him so much. Thank you dad for helping become the man I am today." —Andres' son Fayt Cerda


Stephen Stepanovich

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Las Vegas

"As Stephen's wife, I'm super proud of him and have seen first hand his passion for helping people, even if it meant putting himself and his own health at risk. He has always gone above and beyond to be there for his patients but took much more on during this pandemic being on call 24/7 to be there for his patients, making house calls if Telehealth didn't work for the family and even visiting patients in crisis in the hospital." —Stephen's wife Chandra Stepanovich

Marcelo Aguilar

Costco Supervisor in San Diego, Calif.

"Marcelo has a huge heart for his family, co-workers, neighborhood and greater community. We are so proud of how, in spite of the added stress and risk, he has maintained his trademark calm under pressure, often coming in early or staying late, to support his team and Costco members. The access to groceries and hard-to-find COVID-19 essentials has also come in handy—Marcelo has delivered food to at-risk colleagues, mailed disinfectant wipes to friends in Los Angeles and dropped off cleaning supplies to our son's Montessori school." —Marcelo's partner Crosby Noricks 

Alastair Onia

United States Postal Letter Carrier in Alameda, Calif.

"We're proud of our dad because he's the BEST. He continues to go to work knowing the risk of his own health and family just to ensure our fellow citizens get their essential mail, medicine and packages. On top of his 9 or 10-hour shifts, he still has time to play with us after work. He's our everyday HERO. Happy Father's Day!"—the Onia family 

Eric Gillane

Firefighter in Los Angeles 

"I love how you walk through the door in the morning and the whole house yells, 'Daddy!!' Even after sleepless nights at work, you spend your days at home playing non-stop with the girls and never hesitate to get up in the middle of the night to grab a baby. Family life and fire life have blended into our life and I'm so grateful for all that it brings. Happy Father's Day Eric. We are continuously proud of you and blessed to call you OURS. Love, Kailey, Wiley, Evie and baby #3!" —Eric's wife Kailey Gillane

Andrew Gruel

Chef and Owner of Slapfish in Huntington Beach, Calif. 

"We are amazed at how hard Andrew has continued to work during these trying times. He continues to support the community by providing first responders meals on the house and kids eat free seven days a week! He makes us so proud and we are blessed to have him." —Andrew's wife Lauren Gruel

Dr. Joshua Scurlock

Chief Surgical Resident at University of Massachusetts

"Ryan, Rory, Griffin and I have the gift of having a husband and father who not only has dedicated his life to serving and taking care of us, his family, but he also has dedicated his life to serving and caring for so many others. As a physician on the front lines of COVID-19, these past few months have been incredibly challenging and stressful for him at work, but he has never let that stress work it's way into our home. He gives 100% at work and after a 15-hour shift at the hospital, comes home and gives 100% to his family. We couldn't be more proud of the physician he is but we also couldn't ask for a better daddy. This pandemic may have changed a lot of things in this world, but it hasn't change the love Josh has for his kids or the love his kids have for him." —Dr. Joshua's wife Stephanie Scurlock

Anthony DiBernardo

Swig & Swine Restaurant Owner in Charleston, South Carolina 

"I'm proud of my dad, because even though times are hard, he still manages to do good and help others." —Anthony's daughter Mia DiBerarndo, 14

Dan Lombardi

Senior Trim Technician, General Motors' Design in Warren, Michigan

"I've always been inspired by my dad's work ethic and dedication. When the need for PPE was high, it was no surprise to me that he was in the shop the next day designing masks and gowns. If he can help people, he always will. My sister Dana and I couldn't have a better role model." —Dan's son Joe Lombardi

Michael McIntyre

Firefighter in Fresno, Calif. 

"'Essential worker' is an understatement! Mike never takes off his cape, he's a super hero at home and in the community. He's SUPER dad!" —Michael's wife Chantéa McIntyre 

Scott Murphey

Nurse in St. Louis

"This guy is our nurse hero! He is an amazing nurse not just now but always, and a pretty awesome dad and husband too. #albionheroes #nursedaddy" —Scott's wife Katie Murphey

John Sonner

Paramedic and Firefighter in New Jersey 

"My husband is an amazing father because he gives everything 100% and then some. He is selfless and compassionate and always lights up the room, especially in his daughters eyes. We are proud of you every day!" —John's wife Melissa Sonner

Abubakar Sadiq Kassim

Agro-Processing Worker in Nigeria

"My dad (an essential worker) dedicates his time taking other essential workers who work weekends to their work places as his contribution to the fight against COVID-19 and making this lockdown easier for those in need. I'm so proud of this man." —Abubakar's daughter Mufida Abubakar Sadiq 

Matthew Sleeper

Police Deputy in Washington State 

"Matt is a great dad and puts his family first. After working night shift he will bring the kids home donuts as a special breakfast before he sleeps during the day. The kids are always so proud to share that their dad is a police officer!" —Matt's wife Brittany Sleeper

Dr. Sherali A. Rahim

Chief of Cardiology in Toronto

"We are all so proud of Sherali. He spends his days at the hospital, helping people in need, helping them with their heart problems and lending support to them when their own families are not allowed to visit them during the pandemic. At home, he is a wonderful, supportive father to our three-year-old twins. Whether it is storytime, potty time or fixing an owie with a band-aid, he is always there with a big open heart and a smile on his face." —Dr. Sherali's wife Safinaaz Rawji Rahim

Ashby Anderson

Smart & Final Store Manager in Blythe, Calif.

"I'm proud of my daddy because he works extra hard to make sure everyone has what they need." —Ashby's son Parker Anderson, 8

Andrew Fontes

Pediactric Resident in Phoenix

"Andy, our boys and I are beyond proud of you and all you have achieved in your medical career! Our twin boys were born during your first week of residency three years ago and you have dedicated every minute away from the hospital to them and your family. You are their hero and they look up to you so much already, always learning and growing from your love. We love you so very much, Happy Fathers Day!" —Andrew's partner Tyler Fontes

Matthew Lindner

Firefighter in Los Angeles

"You are truly the hardest working person I know, yet you still show up for our family every single day and I am forever grateful for that. Thank you for pursuing our baby hearts in countless ways and for loving mine. You've made sacrifices to support our family and love us with all that you are. You're a hero in the eyes of so many, but most of all, ours. We love you with all of our hearts." —Matt's wife Kelsey Lindner

Jamie Giovinazzo

President and Founder of Eat Clean Bro in New Jersey

"I'm so proud of Jamie for continuing to provide unbelievable customer service and meal delivery to our amazing customers, all while continuing to go above and beyond for our community. Eat Clean Bro has donated thousands of meals to other essential workers and has been able to adapt its operations to be the best we can be! Not only does he give his business 100%, but he comes home and gives his children, Giorgio (20 months) and Santina (4 months) 100% as well." —Jamie's wife Kayla Giovinazzo 

Dr. Shailesh Thapa

Physician, Hospital Medicine in Dallas 

"Times are tough but so are you, daddy. Thank you for all that you do for us and for the community. You are our hero with or without the pandemic. Today and always" —Dr. Thapa's family

Chris Sanford

Franchise Owner of PuroClean Disaster Restoration Services in Providence, Rhode Island

"I'm proud that my dad gets to help to clean up messes!" Chris' daughter Norah Sanford, 5

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov. To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at PlanYourVaccine.com.