Following in dad’s footsteps: Sons and daughters share same career paths as their fathers

As Father’s Day approaches, many people are finding ways to honor their dads. While some children honor their fathers with words or gifts, others pay tribute by following their examples of service and career choices.


His dad might not have been a surgeon, but Dr. Steve Jones, chief medical officer with St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, said watching his father, Kendall Jones, work as a dentist made him ponder going into the medical field .

“It made me look into dentistry and medical school,” Jones said.

Either way, his father was pleased.

“My dad wasn’t as interested in what his kids did (in school) as much as how they defined themselves after school,” Jones said.

After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine, Jones became a surgeon.

When he became a father, he took all the examples his dad left him and passed them to his children.

“My father is a great example of a hard worker,” said Jones’ son, Jansen Jones, 26. “He is an example of how a father should be.”

Jansen also became interested in the medical profession .

“I used to work in the office doing paperwork,” Jansen said. “I saw how my father would help people in pain.”

Jansen wanted to do that.

“I wonder if he knows what he is getting himself into,” Jones said, jokingly.

Jansen recently completed his first year at Touro University Nevada in Henderson.

“He was excited when I decided I wanted to become a doctor,” Jansen said. “I don’t think he would have been disappointed if I didn’t want to be one, though.”

Dr. Randy Feikes, a Summerlin-area resident, also followed his father, Harold Lee Feikes, and became a cardiovascular surgeon.

“He grew up in Oklahoma as a poor dirt farmer,” Feikes said. “He was the first one in his family to get an education.”

Feikes said Harold moved to Las Vegas in 1966 and began pioneering cardiovascular surgery and eventually became the chief of surgery at Sunrise Hospital.

One summer, to avoid working in the heat, Feikes asked his dad if he could have an inside job. Harold gave him a part-time job mopping the floors at Sunrise Hospital.

“I got to watch my father operate,” Feikes said . “I was infatuated with it. It seemed interesting and exciting.”

Watching his father, Feikes decided to become a cardiovascular surgeon.

“He didn’t want me to become a surgeon,” Feikes said. “He knew the lifestyle a surgeon has and the hard effects it has on your life. He was opposed to it.”

But Feikes continued down his path. Harold died of colon cancer in 1990 before Feikes graduated from medical school.

“People would tell me that he would talk to them and he sounded excited (about me becoming a doctor),” Feikes said. “I think he was proud that I wanted to be educated and make something of my life.”

Feikes continued to follow in his father’s footsteps by serving as the chief of surgery at Sunrise Hospital.

“I think it was the first second-generation chief,” Feikes said.


Henderson Police Lt. Marc Cassell was about 8 years old when he watched his father, Bill Cassell, graduate from the police academy and begin working for the Metropolitan Police Department.

“I wasn’t scared,” Cassell said. “But it was more that I was aware of the fact that it was a possibility my dad could leave and never come home.”

Cassell said he grew up with a strong sense of right and wrong.

“You knew the good guys were good guys and the bad guys were bad guys,” Cassell said.

Cassell was 15 when he knew he was going to become a police officer just like his father.

“Once I got a closer look and got a little older, I realized what a difference they made,” Cassell said. “At 16, I was at the age where I saw a lot of people going down the wrong path. There were gangs starting to move into high schools in the valley. I couldn’t wait until I could come in and help be a solution to the problem.”

With the help of his father, Cassell trained hard and waited to join the academy.

“He would help prepare me with academic things and helping me study,” Cassell said.

Cassell doesn’t know if his two children will follow the family legacy of law enforcement.

“As long as they find a purpose, that’s all I care about,” Cassell said.

Contact Henderson and Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at or 387-5201.

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