Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Grandfather

As a way to honor my Grandfather, I am posting his eulogy from the funeral services this past Monday. It really is an amazing piece whether you knew him or not.




FUNERAL FOR MISTER ANDY WALKER

It is certainly a source of comfort to this family to see so many gathered here to celebrate the life of one who was loved by so many, and who truly touched the lives of many people in this community and in other places that he lived

If you noticed on the front of the program, this is a Celebration Service, and why should it be anything else?
As I gathered with the family in the hospital last Friday, we thanked God for the victory that Mr. Andy had achieved. We did not grieve as others who have no hope. Mr. Andy had just been welcomed into heaven and joined his dear Frances, a day that he had been eagerly awaiting.

As I give these personal words about Mr. Andy, I would like to read two verses of scripture that come to my mind; Psalm 90, verses 10 and 12: Seventy years are given to us! Some may even reach eighty. But even the best of these years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we are gone. Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.”

Not only did Mr. Andy reach 70, and then 80, but ultimately the ripe old age of 92. He would have been 93 in August of this year. He was grateful for each day The Lord gave him. After he reached his 90th birthday, he would often comment to friends, “well I am 90 and 3 days now, or 90 and 4 months now--- “He was happy to state his age.
The Psalmist in verse 12, exhorts us to “make the most of our time so that we may grow in wisdom,” and Mr. Andy certainly did.

Mrs. Geri Goss said it so aptly in an article that she wrote, about the Walkers, for our Pacesetter in July, 2002. “The story of these Unsung heroes would make a best seller list, and would be a great and exciting witness to the world. Their love of God and country, their support of their church family and missions, their marriage commitment, their daily prayer time and their daily walk through the scriptures at the breakfast table, their belief in Proverbs 22: 6, ‘Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it,’ their service as teachers, department directors, deacon and deacon wife, committee members, giving of material, time and money are some of the things in which the Walkers were so much a part.

I believe that any member of this church could say a hearty ‘Amen” to these things that Geri Goss has written, but I would like to add a few more.

Andy Walker was a hard worker, and was from his early youth up until his late 80s. As a young man he and his 4 brothers worked in the sawmill that the family owned and operated, but it is interesting that their family always existed first and foremost as a service to others.
I remember many times going to the insurance office in recent years to see Tommy about some matter, and there was Mr. Andy at his desk working away.

Andy Walker was a family man. He loved his wife, children and grandchildren and never let an opportunity go by without telling them, or showing them through his actions. When the children were school age, it was Andy’s job to wake them up while his wife fixed breakfast. To wake 3 school aged children up to go to school is not an easy task as some of you may know. Andy’s routine was a simple one; he would come into the darkened room, open the blinds, and say with a cheerful voice, “this is the day that The Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it”.
He set an example for his children in the way he treated his wife. He opened the doors for her, pulled out her chair for her to sit down, helped her with her coat. Granddaughter Cara Beth said he was, “A true gentleman and an excellent example to his children and grandchildren”. The way he talked about grandmom when she was alive, and even after she was gone was truly inspiring”. Granddad would always say how blessed he was to have been married to Grandmom by saying “God let me have her for 57 years.“ Libby said that there was never a day that the children did not hear their parents tell each other that they loved each other. What a loving environment to grow up in!”

Mr. Andy always had time to read to the children, play ball with them and attend their sporting events. When the grandchildren got to be teenagers, their friends were always welcome at the Walker home. When Glen Meirs was youth minister he asked the Walkers to host the end of summer youth party at their house. Mr. Andy would cook cook burgers for the group. After they ate, Mr. Andy and Mrs. Frances would turn on their antique juke box and show the young people how they used to dance to the oldies.

He was never hesitant to tell his family how much he cared for them by simply squeezing their hand.. and it was usually a VERY firm hand shake. I experienced that strong handshake on one of my last visits to him. I thought I would not be able to get my hand from his firm clasp. I visited him every day that he was in our hospital. Some days he would be asleep, and other days when I asked him if he wanted me to pray with him, he would nod his head and make a movement as if to hold my hand.

He would always tell his grandkids how much he loved them. Cara Beth said that sometimes within a 10 minute period, 4 or 5 times Mr. Andy would say, ‘I luuuve you”. And it is very obvious that they loved him, also. It was interesting to hear son-in-law Gary talk about some of his and Frances’s fine qualities. He summed it up by saying, “Wow”, what a wonderful mother-in-law and father-in-law!”

Andy Walker was a disciplined man. If any of you knew him well, you knew him to be a man of unwavering routines. There was a scheduled time for everything, and it was difficult to have him change. Even when he was 91 and a resident at The Arbor, he had an exercise routine that would put most people to shame. He rarely missed a chair aerobic session in the mornings.

Some friends who ate out with him often remember that when Mr. Andy finished, it was time to get the check and go. No sitting aroud the tabe to talk. He had a certain time to go to bed. The story that I was told that showed how disciplined he was, involved the National Championship game a few years ago when his Alma Mater, The University of Texas Longhorns were playing. Some of you football fans may remember that Texas quarterback, Vince Young, won that game on a phenomenal play at the end of the game. The next morning at the office, son Tommy asked what Mr. Andy thought about that last play. He replied that he didn’t see that play because it was 5 minutes past his bedtime and he had already turned off his TV.

Mr. Andy was a generous person, and helped many young people with money for college expenses, honeymoon money and various other things. He never hesitated to lend a helping hand.

He made everyone feel that they were very special. Even their yardmen got home cooked meals and a free ride home.

He was a pillar in our church and in our community. You can read of some of these activities in the printed obituary.
He was a faithful member of Truman Walker’s Friendship Sunday School Class, and that class is here serving as honorary pallbearers.

Granddaughter Cara Beth wrote these words about her Granddad: One of his special pastimes was fishing.

“They say a man’s hobbies do not define him,
But they do describe him. Fishing is a quiet sport,
That requires patience, and to me that says much about Granddad.

He was:
A man of so few words, yet said so much.
A man of constance, strength and integrity
A man of values and principles, never wavering.”

What a Godly heritage has been passed on to this family.
What an example has been lived before each member, that can serve as a goal for your own lives.

3 comments:

diane said...

This is a wonderful tribute to your Granddad.

Cindy Walker said...

Thank you, Cara Beth, for taking the time to post this tribute to Granddad! When I show this to Daddy tonight, he will cry ... guaranteed! I've already cried!

Anonymous said...

Good day! I could have sworn I've visited this site before
but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it's new to me.
Anyhow, I'm certainly pleased I found it and I'll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!



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