When we got the call, we jumped in the car and headed over to be with my grandma, Mim. She lives in an assisted living 7 minutes away from us. I'm so thankful they moved over when they did so we were able to see Sir often, and now keep Mim company as she grieves her sweet "lover" (yes she STILL refers to him this way) of 63 years! We all understood recovering from the stroke would be difficult, but had hope when physically he was doing very well. However, the last few days he really wasn't putting names with faces and we realized he may not recover at all. I know the idea of living in a confused state of mind would not sit well with Sir. He was proud, strong, sharp, in control, and a leader his whole life.
He lived a full life of 87 years. He was a believer, and I know exactly where he is! His service was wonderful; we truly honored and celebrated his life. He loved God, his family, and his country. Several people spoke about how generous he was with his money and time for things he loved. The graveside service was very moving and perfect for Sir. An honor guard presented a flag to my grandmother while the bugler played taps. This was perfect for a decorated war veteran.
I absolutely admire my grandmother for her strength in this... she never misses an opportunity to share the gospel. When people compliment her for handling it so "well" or being so strong- she always responds with a smile and says "oh, tears are healing. I've cried and I'm going to cry, but my strength comes from the Lord." On a side note, she's always wearing something bedazzled-one of the many reasons I love her!
I miss my grandfather, and it makes me sad to picture my grandmother living years without him. He was such a wonderful part of my life. So generous, my father officiated the service and mentioned because of his generosity to us from an early age, all three of us kids graduated from college 100% debt free! I can't remember a high school volleyball game or local soccer game in which they did not attend. He read the Christmas story from Luke every year, and spoke of his God and his country daily! He taught those he loved what it meant to be a provider, hard worker, and a man's man. He was much softer towards his granddaughters, and said "hi, babe" and "bye, babe"...but he still never let us win at cards. I guess he figured nobody would let us win in the "real" world, so he wasn't going to set us up for failure. He was a man of few words, but he wasn't going to let you get by without knowing how he felt about something. He never thought we wore enough or appropriate clothing--even a few months ago he said "your husband is pretty successful and makes good money, can't he buy you a pair of britches without holes in them?" It wasn't always spoken, but whether it was shake of the head, a side smirk, or a disapproving chuckle-you knew where he stood on the matter at hand. He supported our adoption and offered to loan us anything we may need.--I'm sad he won't meet our child, but knowing he supported us will be enough. He sure left a great legacy.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures. We have so many memories, it's nice to have a hard time picking out the "best" photos:
Fuss and "make up" is what my grandmother says kept them together for 63 years :)
** his worn, taped bible.
The only time we were "allowed" in his chair was if we were on him!
boots and a jumpsuit. Classic Sir. and yes this "hard" man is having a tea party with his grandkids.
3rd grade school event.
hence my love for john wayne!
Thank you for all your generosity and support through school.
wonderful times at the lake house.
I'm thankful Jake was able to know Sir. They had many conversations about business.
The Friday before his stroke he was asking Jake all about his work!
At the lake, more than likely talking about water levels.
"Poor Bill, what would we do without him"- as my grandmother says.
Most recent family picture of the whole family!
Trip to DC for the WWII Memorial.
So cool to hear him talk about his experience. A rare treat for us granddaughters.
Served his country well.
He served in the U.S. Army from September 1943 to January 1946. He was a combat medic serving in ETO during World War II with 104th Infantry Division. Service awards were Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Certificate of Merit Citation, Combat Medic Badge and Meritorious Service Wreath.
A wonderful dinner in DC. Sir ALWAYS picked up the tab. Even after the visitation, my grandmother bought our dinner and said "this is on Gordon."
Thank you, Sir.
"Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character."
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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 "Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uniformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. According to the Lords word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming."
When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder