The new year of 2019 has started out somewhat sad for our Immanuel Church family. On January 1, we lost our oldest living member and dear friend, Ruth Daulley, at the age of 99 years. Then, on January 4, we lost one of our office managers and dear friend, Jackie Kennard, at the age of 75 years. We will miss both of these wonderful ladies very much, but because we are followers of Jesus Christ and members of Christ’s church, we do not remain in our sorrow and loss. We look to God to comfort us and to provide us with hope, as we remember with thanksgiving those who have died.
At every service of remembrance for our loved ones at Immanuel Church, the pastor says these words: “We gather to commend to God with thanksgiving the life of [the one we are remembering] as we celebrate the good news of Christ’s resurrection.” Yes, we accept and acknowledge our grief, but we also give thanks for the life of that person and for all the ways that this person has touched our lives.
We remember Ruth Daulley as one who was intelligent, resourceful, and active throughout all of her 99 years. Ruth loved attending Bible study and had an amazing storehouse of biblical knowledge which she had attained over the years. She loved needlework and sewing, studied genealogy and history, and traveled to many places. Ruth also overcame loss and adversity in her personal life. When she was 59 years old, her husband, William, died. So Ruth began taking classes at Massey Business College, trained to be a secretary, and went to work for Union Carbide at the age of 59. When Ruth was 83 years old, she lost her son, Billy. But she overcame these losses with faith and perseverance, and she always maintained her positive outlook, her sense of humor, and her smile.
We remember Jackie Kennard as one who cared very much about other people, and cared about the church. She liked musicals, dance, and clogging. She also liked parties and celebrations, and never missed anyone’s birthday or anniversary, including mine. After she retired from AIG, Jackie served as Immanuel Church’s financial secretary and bookkeeper. She did this on a volunteer basis, often working on weekends.
Jackie also served as Immanuel Church’s office manager, alongside Doris Hageman and Susan Sager, for seven years. She often came into the office early and left late. Because of her love for the church, she often went the second mile. We also remember Jackie as someone who cared about others, assisting with Evangelism, Called to Care, and as Norma Wheat’s van driver. Jackie was a faithful member of the church, and to me personally, she was a valued colleague, coworker, and a trusted friend. During this time of transition, we are blessed as a church to have Susan Sager as our office manager, and Vicky Royster who has offered to assist with financial secretary and bookkeeping duties.
We will miss Ruth and Jackie, just as we also miss all who have gone to be with our Lord. May we continue to honor all of them by serving in the church with our time and the gifts God has given us, and by offering care and compassion to all of God’s children.
Blessings and Peace,