Retirement??? — Funeral???

with Franz, Raymond

son-n-law Franz Martens and Raymond Parker

I found out that our children -with the full co-operation of their mother- had planned a “surprise” celebration for my retirement.  And they even dragged our pastor in on it.  And I threw a fit… well, I didn’t fall down and kick and scream but I did threaten to go ahead with my plans to attend the 50th reunion of my Truett McConnell College class in Cleveland, GA.  Pastor Mike told me “go ahead, we’ll still have a good time without you.” 

But they did agree to make it a “Celebration of the first 51 Years of ministry” instead of a retirement party. Well, that scared me.  I was afraid of what they might say behind my back so I hung around for the shindig.  I thought that we were just going to regular service and after anothe great message by our pastor, he’d say “Congratulations Dun.  Now lets eat!”

Instead they had my funeral.   All our children came- Michael from Oregon, Tom from Colorado and Julieann and Kristie with their whole families from central Florida.  Both my sisters and many of our local friends and fellow church members.  Raymond and Marie Parker came from Alabama to represent New Tribes Mission.

At the end of the morning daughter Julieann said “You can go ahead and die now, Dad.  We just had your funeral”.   I didn’t know folks would say such nice things about anyone until they were dead.  And never would say such about me!  Not only said, but they gave us a whole bunch of letters and notes  from friends all over the world.  After the festivities were over and things settled down in the evening, Harriet and I sat and read all of those.  One moment we were roaring with laughter and the next we were weeping like babies.

Check out some pictures on our “PHOTOS” page on the tab above.