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Ordinary dad leads extraordinary life

By Jared Felkins jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:39 PM

Jennifer Chandler describes her father as a meat and taters kind of guy, but there’s a lot more to this ordinary dad. 

Chandler is the oldest of five children born to Frances and Randy Drennen, of Lebanon. She describes her dad in several unique ways, using words like “tough,” “hard-working,” a “great husband” to her mom and even “nerdy.”

Chandler said Drennen has worked at Lochinvar building water heaters and boilers for homes for the past 19 years. 

“I’m almost 27, and he’s been there since I was in the third grade. He worked to the bone to provide for us and never complained once,” Chandler said.  “He has called in sick one day as far back as I can remember, and that was for the birth of his grandson. He would have the flu, pop an Advil, grab his ginger ale and go to work...toughest man I know. 

“He’ll put in the day’s work and then come home and tend to whatever needs to be done...the garden, a car, the sink. Most people would describe my dad as a simple man. He loves his meatloaf and mashed taters, a good book, a big bowl of vanilla ice cream. He’ll give you the shirt off his back without thinking twice.”

At 54, Chandler described her father as “not exactly young.” But, she said he puts in the hard day’s work of a 20 year old. She said Drennen is also a family man, as well. 

“He constantly strives to be a better man, which in my eyes is impossible,” Chandler said. “My children, his grandbabies, have stars in their eyes every time he walks in the room. To them, he walks on water and can do no wrong. Papa is their best friend in the entire world.

“Other than being the greatest dad and papa ever, he’s the greatest husband. The love he has for my mom is indescribable. He would literally move mountains for her. He always tells her that she makes him a better man for just knowing her. To him, she is on the highest pedestal, one that no one could ever dream of reaching. I’ve never seen two people fit together like puzzle pieces more than the way they do.”

In fact, Chandler describes her entire family as “very close-knit.” She said her brother and three sisters live within a 20-mile radius of their parents in Lebanon. Her second-oldest sister lives in Mt. Juliet. 

The family attends Hillcrest Baptist Church. 

“He is the Godliest man I know, and he is very loyal and honest,” Chandler said. “He’s probably the most loyal and honest man you’ll ever meet in your life.”

And apparently Drennen can be a bit of a nerd at times, too. 

“’If you want to know what I think, just ask your mother,’” Chandler said is one of her father’s most famous saying. “He probably says that about three times a day.

“Us kids have named his sayings, ‘Randyisms.’ He’ll think something he says is the funniest thing ever, when everyone else is like, ‘dad.’”

But through all the quirks and uniqueness, Chandler said the family certainly centers on their father, grandfather and husband. 

“Not one of us would change anything about him,” Chandler said. “He’s that warmth, security, and Godliness we can always come to. He’s the pillar that is forever standing in our lives. He’s our best friend.”

Chandler said the family plans to take Drennen out to lunch for Father’s Day on Sunday to celebrate. 

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