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Harry Mendell Smith

Updated on July 12, 2012

May 3, 1919 - April 16, 2010

H. Mendell Smith, age 90, passed away on April 16, 2010 after sustaining injuries from a serious fall. Mendell has been a faithful and loving husband to Sevilla Mae (Cooper) Smith for 68 years. He became a resident of Colorado Springs in 1970 when he moved from California to work for AMI Industries.

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Mendell was born in Lafontain, Kansas

May 3, 1919

Mendell was born to the late Daisy and Harry Smith in Lafontain, Kansas, May 3, 1919. Mendell had two brothers, Merle T. Smith and William Ray Smith, and one sister, Maybell Marie Smith Clift.

He attended Bethany Peniel College (now Southern Nazarene University) in Bethany, Oklahoma where he met Sevilla Mae Cooper and they married in 1941. He also attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

Mendell and Sevilla made their home in Wichita, Kansas and had two sons, Harry Mendell Smith, Jr. and Herbert Wesley Smith. He was employed by Beech Aircraft Corporation in 1942 as an aeronautical engineer until 1953, when they moved to California to work for Lockheed Aircraft. He left Lockheed in 1963 to work Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, California.

Mendell and Sevilla relocated to Colorado Springs in 1970 where Mendell worked for AMI Industries until his retirement in 1984. While working at AMI as an engineering manager he designed crew seats for the B-1 bomber and the Space Shuttle. Following his retirement, he served as a consultant Designated Engineering Representative for the Federal Aviation Administration.

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Mendell Was Interested in HO-gauge Railroading

One of his life's goals was to read 1,000 books.

Mendell's interests included HO-gauge railroading, painting in both oils and watercolor, and choral music. He's also written a novel and several short stories. Most recently, he's taken an interest in writing the genealogy of his family in a book called Roots and Branches.

One of his life's goals was to read 1,000 books. Upon his passing, he had read 984-almost reaching his goal.

He has been a faithful and active participant of the Trinity Church of the Nazarene, having served on church boards and sung in the choir. He is dearly loved as a pillar of faith by all those who knew him.

He is survived by his wife, Sevilla Mae, a sister, Maybell Marie, two sons: Harry, Jr. and Herbert; daughters-in-law, Cecile and Yvonne; seven grandchildren: Herbert, Jr., Jeffrey, Shauna, Melanie, David, Noelle, and Carmen; and nine great- grandchildren. Affectionately known as dad, papa and grandpa, Mendell had a quick wit that brought joy and laughter to all who knew him. We love you and will miss you terribly, but heaven is a brighter place because he is there with his beloved Savior.

Memorial Service

Friday, April 23, 2010, 1 pm

Trinity Church of the Nazarene

5055 El Camino Drive

Colorado Springs, CO

(719) 599-7990

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Salvation Army:

908 Yuma St.

Colorado Springs, CO 80909

719.636.3891

H. Mendell, a Chalk Artist in 1941

H. Mendell, a Chalk Artist in 1941
H. Mendell, a Chalk Artist in 1941

Testimony of H. Mendell Smith

Earliest recollections:

Testimony of H. Mendell Smith

My earliest recollections are of the church. Dad & Mom were both

ordained ministers in the Nazarene Church. At one time, before I was born,

both were pastoring separate churches at the same time. We have many

ministers in our family beginning way back to the 16th century in England.

It seems that God and the Church were always first in my upbringing.

Mom usually preached about the wages of sin and Dad preached more

about the good things God provided for us. At a very early age Dad taught

me to say “JESUS help!” and it worked.

We always had someone for Sunday dinner—usually someone who lived

out in the country where it would be difficult to attend both morning and

evening services. Missionaries, evangelists and the pastors were frequently

dinner or overnight guests.

While I was still in high school, I planned to go to a Nazarene College. I

was privileged to attend Southern Nazarene University in Bethany,

Oklahoma, and it was there, I believe, that I really became established in

my spiritual life. I’m not saying that I was always as faithful as I should

have been, but I never turned back.

It was while at college that I met Sevilla at her church in Anadarko,

about 70 miles away, where we went to help in the services of that new

little church.. We were invited to Sevilla’s home for dinner. I played my

accordion, we practiced a duet, sang at church that evening and got

married—in that order, but not all in the same day.

We Have been married more than 60 years and have been privileged to

serve every church where we have been members. I have been a Sunday

School teacher—Sunday School superintendent—board member—choir

director—director of adult and youth singing groups.

Sevilla has been a Sunday School teacher—Missionary Society president

—Choir member—Vacation Bible School Director—Bible Study leader.

She has been my steady helper all along the way and has helped me

immeasurably on my spiritual journey through it all.

We are eternally grateful for all that God has done for us through all

these years and will continue to do.

Mendell with His Son Harry

Mendell with His Son Harry
Mendell with His Son Harry

Mendell & Sevilla on Valentine's Day: Feb 14, 2008

Mendell & Sevilla on Valentine's Day: Feb 14, 2008
Mendell & Sevilla on Valentine's Day: Feb 14, 2008

Mendell and Sevilla with Herb, Yvonne, CeCi and Harry

Mendell and Sevilla with Herb, Yvonne, CeCi and Harry
Mendell and Sevilla with Herb, Yvonne, CeCi and Harry

Mendell and the Smith Family

Mendell and the Smith Family
Mendell and the Smith Family

Shaela & great-grandpa Mendell

Shaela & great-grandpa Mendell
Shaela & great-grandpa Mendell
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Grandpa JJ

A tribute to H Mendell Smith, by Shauna congelliere

My life has been fully enriched by the man we celebrate today... the man that I lovingly call Grandpa. The truth is, I call him Grandpa JJ. Being a man of few words, I dubbed him Jabber Jaws one evening while playing Skip-Bo with the family. He was talking up a storm and stopped to ask whose turn it was... it was his!

As you know, he was an amazing man! Gifted and talented, personal and fun... there are many great things about him that you already know.

I'm sure you already know that he was just plain fun to be around, wouldn't you agree? Grandpa would get this fun gleam in his eye and the corner of his mouth would turn up as he told crazy childhood stories, funny jokes and little poems. "I eat my peas with honey; I've done it all my life. It makes the peas taste funny, but it sticks them to the knife!" His humor was contagious and his spirit was playful. Growing up, I looked forward to spending summers at Grandpa & Grandma's cabin... not just to run through the woods and go fishing with my cousins, but also to enjoy the laughter my grandpa brought to my life. We enjoyed reading books together - well just one book... we read Black Beauty together every cabin visit. We probably read it enough times that he actually met his goal of reading 1,000 books... but he only counted it once. Another fun memory from the cabin is that he also made a map and named all of the brooks, streams, ponds and pathways after us grandkids... much to our delight. His attitude taught me that life is fun and worthy of being enjoyed.

Grandpa's zeal for life carried over into his love of music. Perhaps many of you knew my grandpa when he was part of the choir. My memories of grandpa are strongly anchored to music: Sometimes we sang silly songs like 'At the Boarding House Where I Lived, Everything Was Growing Old... sometimes we listened to orchestral masters Bach and Beethoven... and many, many times we sang hymns. Favorite music memories include standing around the piano singing hymns with my parents, aunt & uncle and my grandma. He really taught his boys how to harmonize! The sweetest musical memory that will be forever etched in my mind is singing hymns around his hospital bed just two Sundays ago along with my family... "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine", "This is my Story, This is my Song", and "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" were among the songs we sang... and we even threw in a few Christmas carols for good measure. And now? Singing will occupy his time eternally... imagine!

But there are also the quiet things you may not know about my grandpa that endeared him to me.

My grandpa was very purposeful in life. He was not willing to let one day run into another until time had passed without noticing where it had gone. Instead, he was purposeful about the one thing - the ONLY thing - that matters in this life... knowing Jesus, loving Jesus, and serving Jesus. Everything in his life stemmed from this endeavor. He was devoted to studying the Word of God. He was devoted to prayer. And he was devoted to imparting what he was of utmost importance to his grandchildren. I'm so thankful that my grandpa purposed in his heart to day after day share a word of knowledge with us grandkids. Every month he sent us his journal via email. I was privileged to be able to track my grandpa's heartbeat by the words he selected to share each day. His journal contained quotes from Scripture, poems, and quotes from books he was reading . It wasn't the length that mattered... it was the purposefulness in his desire that his grandkids would treasure God's Word as golden nuggets of truth. And we do.

The last quote I received from Grandpa's journal was dated March 31, 2010. "Conduct yourself as if someone is watching." from the book Reflecting God. I am proud to stand before you today and tell you, as his ever-watchful granddaughter, that he did just that. He served his wife adoringly. His family was the world to him. He walked humbly with his God.

The same man that you know and love is the same man that I saw within the walls of his home, with his wife and family, and within the heart of his journal. He has set a beautiful example for generations to follow - and with the Lord's help, may we do so joyfully, with a song in our hearts, and with our purpose set firmly on Jesus Christ as well.

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Eulogy for H. Mendell Smith by Harry M. Smith

May 3, 1919 - April 16, 2010

My Dad (Mendell) was born in Lafontain, Kansas on May 3, 1919. He had two brothers, Merle T. Smith (Uncle Merle) and William Ray Smith (Uncle Bill), and one sister, Maybell Marie Smith Clift (Aunt Marie).

He attended Bethany Peniel College (now Southern Nazarene University) in Bethany, Oklahoma where he met my Mother (Sevilla Mae Cooper) and they married (on Christmas day) in 1941. He also attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman, where he studied Art and Architecture. Seen here is one of his beautiful oil paintings.

Mom and Dad made their home in Wichita, Kansas and had two Wonderful sons, Harry Mendell Smith, Jr. and my brother, Herbert Wesley Smith. Dad was employed by Beech Aircraft Corporation in 1942 as an aeronautical engineer. Because of his talent and attention to detail, he was soon supervising 35 engineers. In 1953, our family moved to California, where Dad worked for Lockheed Aircraft. We started out living in Los Angeles, but soon after moved to the San Fernando Valley. Dad left Lockheed in 1963 to work at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, California. It was during these early years that I have so many wonderful memories of life at home.

I appreciate Dad's sense of humor, and his fatherly advice. Although sometimes they were combined to become Dad's humorous advise. Like the time Dad suggested that I should shave between my eyes, so that my eyebrows wouldn't grow together and become "one big eyebrow". Or the time Dad told me "When you polish your shoes, don't forget the backs, because not everyone will be coming from the front.

While we lived in Long Beach, and attended Long Beach Church of the Nazarene, my brother and I were late getting up on a Sunday morning, and Dad announced to us that "If you boys aren't ready on time, you can just walk to church". Sure enough, I was the one that wasn't ready, and Dad drove off with Mom and Herb and left me behind. But his compassion must have gotten the best of him, because after I had walked 3 or 4 blocks, here came Dad, driving back to pick me up.

In 1970, after Herb and I were off on our own, Mom and Dad relocated to Colorado Springs, where Dad worked for AMI Industries until his retirement in 1984. While he was working at AMI as an engineering manager he was part of a team that designed crew seats for the B-1 bomber and for the Space Shuttle. Following his retirement, he served as a consultant for AMI, and a designated Engineering Representative for the FAA.

Dad's interests included HO-gauge railroading, painting in both oils and watercolor, and choral music. It seems that every where we lived, Dad was either singing in a choir, or was directing a choir, or both. He's also written a novel and several short stories. Most recently, he's taken an interest in writing the genealogy of his family in a book called Roots and Branches.

One of his life's goals was to read 1,000 books. When he passed away, he had read 984 books-almost reaching his goal.

Dad has been a faithful and active member of this church, Trinity Church of the Nazarene, having served on church boards, singing in the choir, and as editor of the upper room news letter. He is dearly loved as a pillar of faith by all those who knew him.

Dad leaves behind: his wife, Sevilla Mae; a sister, Marie; two sons: Herb and myself; daughters-in-law, Cecile and Yvonne; seven grandchildren: and nine great- grandchildren. And one more on the way!

Dad was affectionately known as dad, papa, grandpa and Jabber-jaws; and he had a quick wit that brought joy and laughter to all who knew him.

My Dad has been a faithful and loving husband to my Mom, his wonderful wife, of 68 years.

We love you Dad, and we will miss you terribly, but heaven is a brighter place because you are there with your beloved Savior.

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Memorial Service for Harry Mendell Smith

Trinity Church of the Nazarene

Friday, April 23, 2010, 1 pm

Trinity Church of the Nazarene

5055 El Camino Drive

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Greeting and Welcome - Pastor Denny Hage

Opening remarks - CeCi Smith (daughter-in-law)

There's a Wideness - solo - Kim Davis

Eulogy - Harry M. Smith (son)

Personal Thoughts - Herbert W. Smith (son)

Congregational Singing: The Church is One Foundation

Personal Thoughts - Shauna Smith Congelliere (grand-daughter)

Open mic for others to share

Visual Tribute - DVD

Because He Lives -solo - Kim Davis

Closing Remarks and Prayer - Pastor Denny Hage

"I know that the Lord is always with me.

He is at my right hand.

I will always be secure.

So my heart is glad. Joy is on my tongue.

My body also will be full of hope.

You will not leave me in the grave.

You will not let your Holy One rot away.

You always show me the path that leads to life.

You will fill me with joy when I am with you." —(Psalm 16:8-11)

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GETTING A MARRIAGE LICENSE

SEVILLA AND I WERE IN LOVE.

We were both in college. We were engaged and planned to get married after I graduated from college. But then on December 7, 1941, we heard President Roosevelt declaring on the radio that we were in war with Japan. Japan had just bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. A few days later, Sevilla and I decided not to wait, and set the wedding date for December 25th. This didn't leave much time to mail announcements and make all the other necessary preparations. I didn't think of the required license until Christmas day was drawing near.

Sevilla, and her sister, Vivian, went home for the Christmas holidays, and I planned to follow on the bus on December 24th. Dad and Mother and my brother, Merle, would drive over the morning of the 25th. Dad would perform the ceremony.

Well, I started out on the bus, but along the way it turned off the highway at every little town to let people off and to pick up new passengers. I was beginning to fear it wouldn't get to Anadarko in time. For, you see, I still had to get the marriage license after I got there. So at the next stop, I got off the bus and hitch hiked the rest of the way hoping to get there more quickly.

Even so, it was beginning to get dark when I was left in front of the Courthouse. I went up the steps and found the doors locked. Then I went around to the back and found that door locked too. What could I do? The wedding was to be tomorrow, and I knew the Courthouse would be closed on Christmas day. Everyone would be at home with their families for their Christmas dinner. All the announcements had been mailed. People would be arriving, the pianist and singer would be there, the preacher and my best man, Merle, would be there. Vivian, the bride's maid, would be there, and Sevilla, my lovely bride, would be there waiting too. And if I were to arrive without a license, what would I do? I was in a horrible fix. Of course I should have gotten to Anadarko by some means days ago, but now it was too late. Or was it?

Walking farther around the Courthouse, I saw a light in a basement window. There was still someone there! I knocked on the window again and again, and finally heard a voice from within asking what I wanted. He must have thought I was crazy, when I told him I was getting married the next day and needed to get a license.

However he said if I would return to the back door, he would let me in. It didn't help the pounding of my heart much, when he told me he was the jailer and the jail was right there in the basement of the Courthouse. After listening to my sad tale, he said he knew where the marriage licenses were kept, if he could just find the right keys. He turned on some lights, and we started up the stairs to the Court Clerk's office, and there he was able to unlock the door. After searching for a while, he found the key to the vault and produced a marriage license form. While I was anxiously waiting, he took his time in filling out the form.

Finally it was done, and he signed it as Deputy Court Clerk. I paid him the required fee and thanked him for his trouble. Then I breathed a sigh of relief and went happily on my way. Christmas morning we were married at the church and the marriage license was signed.

NOTE: That was in 1941

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We were saddened to hear about your dad's passing.

He was admired and loved by everyone who knew him, and he will be missed.

These beautiful pages and pictures are a worthy tribute to your dad who did everything with excellence. He was such a neat man, a wise and interesting man even into his 90's. Through the years we enjoyed hearing stories about his college days and how he and your mother met and were married, and boy could they harmonize. We appreciated his example and testimony and Bible knowledge and the words of wisdom he often shared. We also appreciated his quick wit and dry humor. I remember one Sunday morning several years ago in the hallway at church he turned his head this way and that and then asked if I liked his new glasses. I hesitated. The lens were very round and very large, but oh, yes, yes, of course I liked them. Mendell had a dapperly flair whether it was his suit or tie or his shoes or his...glasses. I fussed over him and politely remarked how nice the glasses were, what a good fit, good choice of frames, how handsome he looked. Then came that impish smile and this comment, "Well, I misplaced mine. These are Sevilla's." Who wouldn't love and miss a guy like that?

May the Lord bless you and keep you in the days ahead....

John and Sandy Pruett

"Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep." -Romans 12:15

Harry Mendell Smith - HO-gauge railroading

Mendell’s interests included HO-gauge railroading, painting in both oils and watercolor, and choral music. He’s also written a novel and several short stories. Most recently, he’s taken an interest in writing the genealogy of his family in a book called Roots and Branches.. Mendell Smith, age 90, passed away on April 16, 2010 after sustaining injuries from a serious fall. Mendell has been a faithful and loving husband to Sevilla Mae (Cooper) Smith for 68 years. He became a resident of Colorado Springs in 1970 when he moved from California to work for AMI Industries.

HO-gauge railroading - painting in both oils and watercolor

Mendell's interests included HO-gauge railroading, painting in both oils and watercolor, and choral music. He's also written a novel and several short stories. Most recently, he's taken an interest in writing the genealogy of his family in a book called Roots and Branches.

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      lawrencewarwick 5 years ago

      Hi There

      I like your lense and I represent Arthur wolk who is an aviation expert in aviation law and and air safety issues please visit his lense http://www.squidoo.com/workshop/air-safety-by-arth... , I am trying to finish the lense with the 20 squidlikes will you be so kind to be one. thank you, larry

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      vitar 6 years ago

      Great lens!

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      This note written to Mom (Sevilla)

      I was keeping informed through Herby and Mary. My prayers were and have been with you during this time. I think of you often and will continue to be praying for you. As times goes on you will sometimes miss him more and yet remember all the wonderful times you had together. Dad was truly a wonderful man and a great husband. I wished we lived closer so I was able to help you as your journey continues I know God will be with you and will be looking after you.

      Much Love, Charlotte

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      Elaine posted something on your Wall and wrote:

      "Harry & CeCi, I'm praying for you ,Sevilla, Herb & family & all the grandkids as you share such wonderful and emotional memories of your dad, H. Mendell Smith. Let your heart and mind be comforted by the Holy Spirit and you know, it really won't be long at all til we all join Mendell,& Dad before that Throne of Grace! Praise be to God our Savior! Give my love to yor family.

      Larry & Elaine"

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      Harry

      Our condolences to you and your family on the passing of your father.

      Our prayers are with you and your family in this times of sorrow.

      May the Lord bless you and your family in the mourning of your father.

      Sincerely

      Ralph & Rose Escalera

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      Dear Mendell and Sevilla's Son, Harry:

      You have my deepest condolences. Your father was such a good and Godly man. I had gotten to know them through Trinity Nazarene's Dinner for 6. They hosted a couple of wonderful dinners in their beautiful condo with a spectacular view of Colorado Springs. And I knew them through Sunday School.

      Since I moved to Redding, California, in March 2006, to be closer to my grandchildren, daughter and her family, plus my son was a Youth Pastor in Brookings, Oregon (5 1/2 hours away from Redding) and his family. Anyway with all this added information, your father's weekly (early Monday mornings) Upper Room Email Newsletter with quotes from SS teaching, Church Events, Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Prayer Requests (Always including the military). The added bonus was a Hymn kept me up todate with everyone in Colorado Springs that mean so much to me. I have missed these Emails so much!!

      I'm so glad to know I will see Mendell again some day and that he's in perfect peace with his Lord and Savior.

      Thank you for letting me know about your father's passing on.

      With a grateful heart,

      Bertie Aguirre

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      Harry,

      Jolene and I want to offer our condolences. Mendell was such a wonderful and highly respected man of God. He was also a great hero for me as I watched and listened to him express his love of the Lord, especially through the music that he was always working on. He was a testament to the joy of the Lord that he exuded every time I saw or spoke with him. He was not afraid to grapple with new technology and used this to bless others. He was always growing and taking on new challenges. It always amazed me to get the newsletters he put together for the Upper Room Class. Please give our love to Sevilla during this time of grief and loss.

      Praying that these days of grace will be grace filled,

      Brent and Jolene Wyss

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      These beautiful pages and pictures are a worthy tribute to your dad who did everything with excellence. He was such a neat man, a wise and interesting man even into his 90's. Through the years we enjoyed hearing stories about his college days and how he and your mother met and were married, and boy could they harmonize. We appreciated his example and testimony and Bible knowledge and the words of wisdom he often shared. We also appreciated his quick wit and dry humor. I remember one Sunday morning several years ago in the hallway at church he turned his head this way and that and then asked if I liked his new glasses. I hesitated. The lens were very round and very large, but oh, yes, yes, of course I liked them. Mendell had a dapperly flair whether it was his suit or tie or his shoes or hisâ¦glasses. I fussed over him and politely remarked how nice the glasses were, what a good fit, good choice of frames, how handsome he looked. Then came that impish smile and this comment, âWell, I misplaced mine. These are Sevillaâs.â Who wouldn't love and miss a guy like that? -- John C. Pruett

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      pmyost 7 years ago

      Sevilla and family, We want you all to know that we are praying for you in this difficult time. We rejoice that Mendell is now in the presence of our Savior, but we know how very much you will miss him and that his absence will create a huge void in your lives. Please know that we are praying for you and will be with you in spirit during your time of grief. Sevilla, we wish we could be there with you! We love you and hurt for you. We absolutely loved the pictures and the description of Mendell's life. Thanks so much for posting them so we can enjoy and remember him. Candy and Pete Yost

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      susieclark 7 years ago

      Thank you for these great pictures, I feel I now know your dad. I rejoice in the celebration of your dad's life here and now with our Savior. His example will surely live on through his children, grand children and all of those who knew him. Your mom and the entire family are in my prayers and will remail in my prayers.

      Susie Clark

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      Dear Harry, Herb, CC, and Yvonne, it is wonderful to know that your father and father-in-law has now joined his other siblings in heaven. What a joyous reunion they are having. I met your father at Bill's memorial service and have fond memories of what a wonderful Christian man he seemed. Additionally, I received the wonderful emails he would send out about his friends' needs and the Lord. My condolences to all of you.

      God bless, Jean Worland

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      The Lord's blessings and comfort are upon you! >> Rich Dewey

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      Harry, my prayers are continuing for you and the family. That was a beautiful tribute to your dad and the pictures were great. I know we all can gain strength in the knowledge of the Lord's faithfulness to us and that we will all meet again to sing His praises forever!

      Charlene Adams Leonard

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you Harry for the great tribute to your dad. You and your family have been in our prayers since your dads fall and we will continue to pray through this week and following as I'm sure many important decisions are being made. We love you and CeCi and know the emotions you are going through. May God be praised !!!

      -- Elaine Adams Schwein

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      Smitty 7 years ago from Arizona

      "Harry, Your dad was such a wonderful man but I didn't realize how talented he was also. A very well rounded guy! Our prayers go out to you and all the family, especially for your mother. This must be especially hard for her after so many years together. They were certainly a wonderful example for all of us and how to live our lives and raise a happy productive family."

      Delores Lautsch