Grandpa's funeral was inspiring. I came away from it wanting to be a kinder person, a better missionary, a more loyal friend, and not take life so seriously. There were a lot of things shared at his funeral that I don't want to forget. So here they are.
::As a young boy, him and his younger brother, Lowell, were known for being mischievous. One time, they spread lard all over the kitchen floor. Another time, they spread ashes all over the house. The next time their mom left to go outside, she tied them up to chairs so they wouldn't get into any more trouble.
::He had Perthies disease when he was about 10. This left him with a limp that prevented him from doing some active things throughout his life. This never stopped him from enjoying life though.
::He served a mission as a young boy in California, then later with my grandma in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and then another one in Kentucky. He LOVED sharing the gospel and was never afraid to talk about it.
::Cash was his motto. If he didn't have cash for something, he didn't buy it.
::He attended BYU for a two semesters, where my grandparents met and then got married 6 weeks later. Him and my grandma (a city girl from Ogden) bought a farm after they got married in Aberdeen. They borrowed enough money to get a farm. Everyone thought they were crazy and told them they would never pay off the farm. This motivated my grandpa even more to pay it off. Slowly, he worked off the farm and finally paid it off (as a dairy farmer) when his 3 sons were on his missions. He attributed being able to pay it off from paying his tithing.
::He had a great love for all the Spanish speakers that lived in Aberdeen. He became very great friends with them. Because of this, he loved to watch and listen to the Spanish channel, even though he didn't understand it. My aunt Ruth, who speaks very good Spanish, would have to change the channel a few times because it wasn't very good things they were saying.
::Grandpa would always tell his kids, "Go for it. Try it" even it meant more work for him, or more of sacrifice--even though he would never make it seem like a sacrifice.
::One time when he was shopping at a suit store with my uncle Steve, he began talking with the clerk. This was not uncommon for him to strike up conversation with strangers. The clerk grew up in England but had some African roots. Grandpa said, "Well, you must be Mormon then" The guy said, "What is a Mormon?" At the end of the visit, the clerk had committed to taking the discussions. Less than a month later, the clerk was baptized.
::He had an unwavering testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ. My uncle Steve observed that when he would close his prayers, he would say, In the name of THE Savior" because my grandpa knew that Jesus Christ was not just the Savior for those who were baptized members, but that he was THE Savior for everyone.
::One of the responsibilities of a dairy farm was to take the milk to the cheese factory. It was only 2 miles away from their farm, but my dad said it would often take them hours to make the trip because on the way they would stop to visit a widow or a friend of my grandpa's who was less active. Grandpa always had time for people.
::On another occasion, he brought a hitchhiker home. He gave him a meal, a day's work, and place to sleep for the night and some money to help him on his way.
::When he was called into the bishopric, he admitted that he was not always a full-tithe payer. He committed from that time forward to pay a full tithing and he said how his financial life improved. He was able to support all 5 of his living children through college and missions.
::He was insistent on keeping the Sabbath Day holy. Being a dairy farmer meant around-the-clock work and Sundays were no exception. But he would try to prepare and do as much as possible on Saturday so that Sundays could be kept holy.
::He sold his cows to BYU. They were kept in a pasture in American Fork. One day, he went to visit his cows. They recognized him and came running over to him. This shows how great of a steward he must have been that they would recognize him.
::One time when he was in a care center, the nurse came in to give him medicine. On her way out, he said, "God loves you!" As soon as she left, he turned to his bishop who was visiting him and said, "I'm working with her." Another example of how great a missionary he was.
::Before he met my grandma at BYU, there was a girl in his ward that had a nice convertible. He asked to take it for a spin. They were on the drive. The girl was engaged and as a joke said, "It's too bad you are engaged." She immediately took the ring off. He told her to put it back on. My grandpa was quite the lady's man.
::Another time, he was driving home with a girl. She seemed extremely nervous, so as a joke, reached over and grabbed her hand. He was always making situations light and fun.
::He loved Aberdeen. He lived there for all his life except when he was in the Navy and at BYU and these last 12 years that he has lived with my aunts.
::He endured to the end. During the last weeks of his life, a nurse asked him how he was feeling. He said, "with my fingers." :) He never complained of pain. Whenever we asked him how he was doing, he would say, "Still breathing". He never gave up and kept a positive attitude.