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The Legacy of One Man

I attended a funeral of a man today who passed away in his sleep on Wednesday. His five children officiated at the funeral service. Each one stood up and shared with the guests how their dad loved the Lord, their mother, them and others deeply and sacrificially. Many tears were shed and many joyful memories were shared.

This man had five children—four boys and a girl—all of whom are happily married and walking with Jesus because of their dad’s example. Additionally, this man left 21 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, all of whom either know Jesus or are seeing their parents demonstrate how a Christ-follower lives. His kids and their spouses all love each other and enjoy spending time with each other—certainly a rare phenomenon today.

The man passionately loved people. In his eleven-year tenure as credit manager of a large metropolitan hospital, he led countless patients, their loved ones and co-workers to living faith in Jesus Christ. As an accomplished musician and entertainer, he offered free concerts annually to benefit the hospital.

Later in life, this man became a pastor in a very small rural town in Idaho (population 186). During the fourteen years he served there, he visited three nursing homes in the surrounding towns weekly. He sang, preached, visited with and prayed for the residents. His wife kept track of all those who gave their lives to Christ in those weekly visits—over 450 in fourteen years.

In that small town, he knew and visited every family. He also served that community as an emergency medical technician and volunteer fireman. Many in that town came to know Christ through this man’s life and witness.

One of the most remarkable characteristics of this man was his undying love for his wife. He loved her faithfully, tenderly and strongly until she passed away in 1991. Even before her death, he would longingly speak of Christ’s return. And now that his wife had gone home to be with the Lord, this man spoke with greater yearning to be with the Lord and be reunited with his wife. With this as his deep desire, it was fitting that he passed away on the 60th anniversary of the day that he and his wife had met. What a joyous reunion and homecoming that must have been with Jesus and his wife last Wednesday!

I want to live and love large as this man did, for he was my dad. Thank you, Dad, for being such a godly example to us kids! We love you and miss you!

1 comment

1 Jan Mitchell { 01.04.14 at 4:28 pm }

He was such a godly example of one who was enthralled with God. He loved sharing Christ with others and had a deep, deep walk with his LORD. I praise God for dad and mom’s example to me. It helped to develop a deep desire to know my LORD and Savior and share this with others. And to deeply love my spouse Dan and thoroughly enjoy him. Thank you LORD!