(The picture to the left is from 2001 when Pops and Memaw came to visit me while I was doing ministry in Houston)
These are the words I spoke at his funeral on behalf of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren:
I called him Peepaw, Papaw, and Pops. He was really the only grandpa I ever knew. He was the best grandpa any of us could had ever had. He wasn’t one of those grandpas who got on the floor to roll cars around with you or sit at a small table and fumble around with a toy tea set. He didn’t do art or sing in a choir. And he certainly didn’t try his hand at the latest fashion.
He did work hard. He did provide for his family. He did laugh a lot. He did fish and hunt and say a curse word every now and then. Ok more now than then. And He did what was ever necessary to take care of his family. One of my fondest memories of Papaw was when he would come through Bay City and pick up Wyatt and me and go to Hinton’s grocery and buy each of us an orange Pushup. Or the time in college whenever I came to visit he would buy me an ice cream or a burger in front of his afternoon coffee buddies, just to prove he wasn’t too cheap. He would tell us jokes and sayings that aren’t so appropriate for a younger crowd. And he would always say to us, “Here I sit fat and chunky, ate two cats and swallowed a monkey.” And we would laugh and laugh. It’s not easy to put down all the memories in such a short time, so I will sum it up this way. Here are the things that I knew about Peepaw, Papaw, Pops through the things that he said and did:
1. Work is important –He worked hard and even when he retired he found new things to keep him working. Like his garden
2. Recreation is important –He loved to fish and hunt and simply be outside
3. Laughter is important –I can hardly think of an image of Papaw where he wasn’t laughing or trying to make someone else laugh
4. Integrity is important –Pops didn’t really worry too much about what people thought of him. And basically he didn’t have to, because he respected himself and he respected others and he was full of great character
5. He was Big –He was a big man, not just in size, but also in every aspect of his life. He had a big heart, He had a big laugh, and he was a big leader. He filled his life with things that made all of his family want to listen, to follow, and to love him
Peepaw, Papaw, Pops; your grandkids and your great-grandkids love you with everything they have. We will never have enough time to thank you and comprehend the influence you have been in our lives. We will miss you and miss your laughter, your jokes, and your love. But we are going to be okay. All of us: Memaw, Your kids, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, your brothers and sisters, and all the relatives and friends you have left behind; we are going to be okay, because you have showed us a great way and given us so much of you. And we will see you again.