Saturday the Jones family said goodbye to a Great Man, my grandpa Bill Jones. He was born in Burley, Idaho in 1920 and he passed away peacefully in the same small community that supported him for 92 years. He joined the army and traveled the world before meeting grandma Emma who would be his only wife until 1994. He had 1 daughter and 5 sons, Larry, Dennis, William (Rick), Steve, Charlene and Jack. Dennis passed shortly after birth and Grandpa was Larry's caretaker up until now.
Grandpa was a hunter and fisherman and took his grandchildren fishing on the Wood River every time we all got together. The fishing stories that would be told for many years were not always about the fish we caught but the memories we made with grandpa and with each other. Grandpas Fishing Story was never really about fish for me but the importance of life, the thrill of the catch and the sometimes the disappointment of loss.
Grandpas celebration of life service included military honors, singing, a life sketch and a picture video with music. I was asked to say the opening prayer which began with "I am SO nervous," but then followed with a joke about how I would be reading this prayer off of my phone, which I had texted to God earlier. The prayer goes like this:
Lord this is a difficult day but as we prepare to let our father, grandfather, brother and friend, rest in your kingdom, we feel the love and joy that only the presence of your Holy Spirit can sustain.
The journey for Bill has been a long and fulfilling one full of stories that will be told for many years.
The love that he shared through 4 generations will never be forgotten and the legacy of a Christian faith and reliance on our creator God will always live in us.
As we celebrate his life today we believe that his purpose in this life was complete, and as all the cousins knew the fisherman grandpa was, he was as much a fisher of men during his faithful and caring time with us.
Thank you Heavenly Father above for welcoming Bill into you eternal home as a new child again, in Jesus name Amen.
The minister who got to know grandpa in the last few weeks spoke about how he came to believe in his creator God and was converted to a follower of Jesus Christ. I had no idea that this would be the most profound thing I would hear about my grandpa.
Grandpa loved all children from his own to his many grandchildren and all of our children. A long time ago grandpa had a niece and nephew who's child named Brian was very sick in the hospital. My grandpa's family raised him with religion but he nearly became an atheist after what he had seen during the war when he was in the army. As he held this young child who was suffering in his arms, the baby slipped away into eternity. It was at that moment that he felt the grace of God that would dramatically change his life forever. He could not deny the pain that was taken from the child and the supernatural peace that followed for both of them. When my nephew or my son were in the hospital he always asked about them before anything else to see how they were doing. He got to meet his newest great grandchild just days before he passed away.
Grandpa's legacy will live on in every one's lives who he touched with his deep love and compassion. Grandpa's Fishing Story will forever be a tale to remember but he is fishing the Big Wood River now and with every cast teaching little angels the Love of his Creator.