Wow, that obvious statement with no qualifying follow-up commentary almost leaves me speechless - note, I said, "almost." Fathers can die at an early age, of course, but does that mean there's NOTHING else that can be done? Oh woe-is-me. Does the father's death abdicate the mother from helping to find positive male mentors for her son(s)? No. There are plenty of males at church to help give their sons a male perspective. What about cousins, uncles or grandfathers? Why absolve them? A father is optimal, but even when he's gone, it still doesn't negate the need for a male example of how to become a strong, positive and productive member of society.