Thursday, March 7, 2013

Precious Memories

Most, if not all, who read this blog are aware my father-in-law passed away on February 21st. Thanks to the generosity of some special people, we were both able to go to the states for the funeral. We were so blessed by that time with the family!

Right away our daughter began collecting and scanning photos, creating a video to be shown at the viewing and later the funeral. Then she started adding photos that people were taking as we gathered together. The album currently boasts well over 500 photos and continues to grow as different ones contribute their own. It's been precious to look at both the old and the new... to remember dad and reminisce together, and create new memories in the process.

I decided to include just a few here, because I know when I look back I'll want a record of the event on this blog which serves as my journal. Plus there are probably some who read this who can't access that album, and might be interested in this part of our family history.

First of all, dad as a young man:
He and mom met at Bryan College in Tennessee and were married a few years later.

One of the first family photos I remember seeing was this one (I think it was in an old pray-for-your-missionaries booklet) when Ivan was about 5 years old:
A lot of you also read Rita's blog, Meemaw Moments. Did you know she's the oldest and the only girl?

Dad and mom were just a little older than we are now when I met them for the first time:

When dad and mom celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1992, all their children were there:
That was the first time in 21 years that dad, mom and all the siblings were together! On many occasions they would all be there, except one. That's what happens with missionary families who are all over the place.

In recent years two strokes meant that dad had to move into the medical care portion of a retirement village:
Mom faithfully went over to feed him lunch and supper; first from their home which was just down the road a piece, and then from her own apartment within the same facility.

After the funeral someone thought to take a photo of mom with her children:

Mom had requested that the boys sing at the funeral, so they did: "Face to Face", with Rita accompanying them on the piano. The oldest son, Lynn, also sang a solo. Each of the grandchildren that were present read scripture. Rita read two poems she'd written (which are included on her blog), and following by birth order, each son shared memories. At the end, the pastor opened it up so that others who wanted to could briefly share. Several spoke about what an impact dad had in their lives.

Even before the funeral the family was inundated with calls, cards, e-mails, facebook messages... evidence of dad's testimony and influence that spread across the U.S. and Argentina. Beautiful tributes that meant a lot to mom and the rest of the family.

There are more photos I can, and will, share on my next Project 365 post. But this is enough for now. Just a little walk down memory lane, as we celebrate the life of Solon Waverly Hoyt.

His obituary:

Solon Waverly Hoyt, 91, of Grace Village Retirement Community, Winona Lake, Ind., passed away at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at Grace Village Health Care, Winona Lake.
He was born on April 2, 1921, in Dallas Center, Iowa to Clarence Lyman Hoyt and Anna Leola (Dorsey) Hoyt. On Aug. 22, 1942, he was married to Kathryn Ruth Hirschy, who survives in Winona Lake.
He was a resident of Kosciusko County, Ind., for the past 30 years, where he was a member of Lakeland Grace Brethren Church of Warsaw, Ind. He attended Bryan University in Dayton, Tenn., for three years; studied for a year in Huntington University in Huntington, Ind.; and then attended Grace Seminary in Winona Lake for three years. Solon was a missionary in Argentina for 43 years.
He is survived by his daughter: Rita (Michael) Koch, Upland, Ind.; four sons: Lynn (Mary) Hoyt, South Carolina; Aldo (Alice) Hoyt, Denver, Colo.; Ivan (Kimberly) Hoyt, Argentina; Alan (Sharon) Hoyt, Warsaw; 15 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters and six brothers.


sara said...

Such a beautiful family! I feel so blessed to know a few of you!!!

Betty W said...

My deepest sympathies go out to you and your husband Kim. I'm glad you guys got to go to the funeral and connect with all your siblings. I'm sure that made saying goodbye easier.

Mari said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this loss, but what a blessing to know that he is now "face to face" with his Savior - and that you will see him again. What a blessing to be able to be there for the funeral and spend time with family. I really enjoyed the pictures.

Skoots1moM said...

so happy you had this time together. may God continue to bless your mother-in-law and their family

The Bug said...

I've really enjoyed Tina's pictures on FB, but it was nice to see these older photos. So glad you got to go & be with family during this time!