For 14 years, John Hershey and his father, John R. "Jack" Hershey, worked side by side. Jack has retired as an investment banker, and John is now senior vice president of a financial management group, but the two are as connected as ever.
"We're very close. Couldn't be closer," Jack Hershey said. "A closely knit family is a strong family, especially in this day and age."
John Hershey, 47, said his two children — London, 6, and Holden, 14 — have lots to learn from their grandfather, and he intends to pass along all he can.
"Children are the most wonderful things to have, but I didn't realize what it took to be a good parent to raise a child," John Hershey said. "It can be a very big challenge. I've leaned on my father for guidance as I've tried to raise my children."
Jack Hershey, 85, is a well-known philanthropist, and he and his wife, Anna Leiter Hershey, were recognized at Hagerstown Community College's 12th annual Tribute in March.
"He's set a great example for us, a high bar in regards to high character he has held over the years," John Hershey said. "He's a big supporter of the community, reached out to people in need. I couldn't think of a better role model for myself and my children than my parents."
Hershey has followed in his father's footsteps in terms of community involvement and business. He has served on many committees, including the Washington County Health System's Endowment Committee.
Along with their involvement in the community, father and son are dedicated to their families.
Jack and Anna Hershey raised four children, and John Hershey said he has fond childhood memories of hunting and fishing with his father.
"His ability to balance all that is, in this day and age, a very difficult thing," he said.
Father's Day, especially, is an opportunity for the Hersheys to come together. A celebration 14 years ago, right after his son was born, stands out in John Hershey's memory.
"We had three generations of Hersheys — my son, myself and my father. That really hit home," he said. "I remember what a special day that was."
Hershey said the holiday usually involves an "all-American cookout," and his father, the man of honor, chooses the menu.
"I look forward with great pleasure to see my children and grandchildren. The larger the family, the better," Jack Hershey said. "The best Father's Day gift is being together with family and enjoying everything they do."