Friday, March 15, 2013

Goodbye, "Grandpa" Henry

When I wrote my post about my friend Sharon yesterday, I did not realize that it was also the day of a funeral for another member of the same church. Pastor Punke is in our prayers as he does these two funerals.
Henry and Lucille were members of the church where I began teaching. Lucille was friends with my grandma and my grandma's sisters. They were friendly with all the teachers and field workers for the Seminary and their families at our church.
Henry and Lucille are the best example of an older Christian barren couple that I have ever seen. They never had any children, but their "adopted" children and grandchildren were their nieces and nephews and friends from church. They have friends all over the country and probably all over the world that were former teachers and field workers and pastors for their church. His obituary mentioned his surviving relatives including his godchildren. They often talked to me about how they met and their early days of marriage and Lucille always mentioned how good Henry was to her all their days of married life. It was clear they were both thankful to God that they found each other.
Lucille worked until they were married and he had a very good job so she stopped working. Until her health slowed her down recently she volunteered at all sorts of jobs and both of them volunteered a lot at church. They supported our school so much- helping any way they could and being at every dinner or fundraiser that we had. We could always count on their support-just knowing that they supported and prayed for our teachers and students meant so much.
When I purchased my first home as a single woman, Henry often stopped by to check on me. He would open his trunk to all sorts of things that he thought I needed at my house. He eventually filled my tool box with all the tools he thought I should have, before he brought these all I had was a couple of screwdrivers. He brought me stuff to put down my toilet once a month to keep it in good working order. I still try to do that because Henry told me to. He took lots of used oil that was in the garage at my house from the previous owner to be disposed of. I never knew when he was coming or what he would get in his mind to bring to me. He never said much, but he was a great listener.
Both of my grandpas died before I was born. I had "adopted" grandmas from the many churches we attended and a couple of great uncles that were close to me, but no "adopted" grandpas. It is interesting to me that my first "adopted" grandpa was Henry, when I was old enough to live on my own. That was probably when I needed a grandpa the most. Later God provided Ram's grandpas for me and church members in MN to be "adopted" grandpas for the Lambs.
Last summer I was able to visit them in their "new" home in an assisted living apartment. They had lived all their years as a married couple in their home and it was very difficult for them to sell and move to an apartment. Their biggest fear was moving when they had no children to help them. It was time for them to move as both of them were declining in health. God provided and people from church and nieces and nephews helped them to get all settled in. I am so glad that I visited them last summer.
Henry went to be with Jesus on Monday and the funeral was yesterday. I don't know how long they were married, I would guess they were a couple for over 50 years. This is going to be difficult for Lucille and we keep her in our prayers.

Jesus lives! And now is death
But the gate of life immortal;
This shall calm my trembling breath
When I pass its gloomy portal.
Faith shall cry, as fails each sense;
Jesus is my confidence!
LSB 490:5

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