Two years ago today Ken Prichard, Judy’s dad, passed away. It doesn’t seem that long ago. Judy was able to spend the weekend with him in the hospital with pneumonia in Dayton. But on that Tuesday (May 21) he passed away. He was 85 years old and had been married to Judy’s mom, Patsy, for 65 years.
We went down Tuesday night and was comforted by many family and friends. Judy has 3 brothers and a sister. Her sister, Sue, drowned on Memorial Day weekend 53 years ago at the age of 13. Ken was buried beside Sue in Bellbrook, Ohio.
The funeral on Friday brought more people than expected. Since he was 85, I assumed that many of his friends & family would have passed away previous. He was the youngest sibling in his family. But he evidently touched a lot of people who remembered because the line to see Judy’s mom never stopped. We even had some friends who traveled from Adrian.
My father-in-law was a good, faithful Christian. He had been a deacon in his church. One story told at his funeral was when he was waiting to be questioned about being a deacon. He held up a picture of him standing on his horse (Yes, he would do this trick where he would stand on the back of his horse). Then he said, “Just like I stand on this horse, I stand on the Word of God.” Great answer to everything!
It was a sad day. I have experienced it before when my dad and mom died. But he always had a special place in Judy’s heart, and she to him. It’s hard to see people you love hurt. And as hard as you try, you can’t take the hurt away. We hurt so much because we love so much. And it still hurts.
He’s in a better place. Not because he was such a good person. But because he trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. It is such a comfort to know that we will see him again.
As I think about my special relationship to him (I’m his favorite son-in-law), one picture keeps flashing in my mind. It was when my dad passed away from cancer at the age of 54. I was 33 years old and my dad was gone. I don’t remember much about those days – it gets kinda fuzzy. But I do remember when Judy’s dad came up to me and just shook my hand. All he said was “I’m sorry” and had tears in his eyes. Two things crossed my mind at that moment. First, he knows how I feel because I knew his dad died when he was young. Second, he’s the only father I have left. Nobody can replace my dad. But Ken was awful close.
As I recollect on family this week, Judy & I are so blessed to have a wonderful family and church to love us.