In honor of Womenâ€™s History Month, I reflected on the wonderful Wittman women in my life. They had and continue to have a profound impact on me, teaching me important lessons through their kindness, strength, and tenacity.
My Mother-Genia Wittman
My mother had such a strong influence on my life, shaping my early years through her example of discipline and hard work. She was very much an objective-driven person, focused on getting things done. She constantly pushed me, specifically in the realm of education. Every year I was in school, she would teach my summer courses, setting the curriculum herself. She was a caring person, a person of principle, a strong woman.
My Wife-Kathryn Sisson Wittman
I met Kathryn almost 40 years ago at Virginia Tech, where we both attended college. And ever since she has been the strength in my life. She is a strong, focused woman who is relentless in her work and in her love for our family. As an elementary school teacher for 37 years, I know there will be a special place in heaven for her. She loves teaching and the connections she's made with her now three generations of students. Supporting my career in public office takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice, and she has done that lovingly and with a smile. She is a fantastic mom and has done saint-like work in parenting and grand parenting. I aspire to be a portion of what she is, and I still fall short. I donâ€™t know where I would be without her-certainly not at any level of success.
My Daughter-Devon Wittman Gooch
My daughter Devon is just like her mom. She is very driven, always needing something to do. As a parent, she pushes my grandchildren to take advantage of all the opportunities presented to them. She is always on the go, whether it is taking them to ballet, soccer, softball, or baseball. Devon is my sounding board, but more importantly she is always honest about how she thinks Iâ€™m doing, and how I can improve. She is goal-oriented, talented, and I love her dearly.
My Granddaughter-Morgan Gooch
I see my mother, my wife, and my daughter in my granddaughter Morgan. At only 9 years of age, she holds a high standard for herself and others. Her teachers will give her reading assignments and when she spends the night at our house, she will come back after a ballet class, eat her dinner, finish her daily homework and then at 8 oâ€™clock say, â€śI have to read these books.â€ť And trust me, she is not going to stop until she checks that off the list. She is a gregarious, loving young lady with a bright future. I am so proud of her and enjoy watching her grow up before my eyes.
These wonderful Wittman women have shaped who I am, aided me, and challenged me. This Womenâ€™s History Month, I am blessed to call them family.