Friday, December 26, 2008


My maternal grandfather, Jack Walter Raines, "Pops", passed away on Sunday. We had his funeral today. I was elected to write and deliver his eulogy.
He was a wonderful grandpa. He lived his faith and was a wonderful example of a Godly man. He is greatly missed.


Nanny, Mom and Pops

Pops and Nanny

Here's a copy of the eulogy I gave so that you will know what a wonderful man he really was.

Psalm 91:16 says “With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Pops always said that he wanted to live to be 90-years-old. He lived to be 90 years, 10 months and 22 days old. He lived a long, full life. He was very blessed and well-satisfied.

Jack Walter Raines was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend.

He was married to Ethel Violet Nutt Raines for 69 ½ very happy years. He loved her better than I’ve ever known any man to love any woman. She was the love of his life, and he loved her like crazy.

Pops was an ordinary man who had an extraordinary impact on those of us who were fortunate enough to be part of his life. He was well liked by everyone who knew him. He was patient, kind and soft-spoken. He loved to laugh and loved to sing.

He enjoyed Sunday school and his church friends. He was saved in 1951; and he loved gospel music and loved singing in the choir and in The Church Quartet.

He played baseball as a young man and developed a love for the sport. His favorite team was the St. Louis Cardinals. He loved watching baseball and talking about the stats.

Pops retired at age 62 and enjoyed 28 years of retirement. He and Nanny took bus tours and visited 28 states, Washington, D.C. and Canada. He spent 19 years building martin houses and other woodcrafts that he and Nanny sold at arts and crafts shows.

But his pride and joy was his family. He never missed a birthday party or a holiday or a special event. He always arrived early and stayed until the party was over – soaking up every moment.

He loved to laugh and always had a silly joke or corny story to share with us.

He taught all of his grandkids how to throw and catch a baseball; and he coached our little league teams.

Some of my favorite memories are days spent in his shop – the smell of the sawdust, the sound of the saws whirring and country music playing on the radio in the background. He taught all of us how to hammer a nail and how to sand wood; and he taught the boys how to run the saws.

He attended our basketball games, our band concerts, our band contests, the parades we marched in and every event in which we performed. He never missed our special moments. He loved cheering us on. In his book, we were always the best; and he made sure that we knew it.

Evenings at Pops’ house consisted of watching Hee-Haw and Dukes of Hazard while enjoying root beer floats. Holidays were always so special – especially Christmas. He decorated the house from top to bottom. And he always cheated while opening his presents – lifting the paper on all sides so that when his turn came he only had to toss the paper aside to reveal his gift.

I Thessalonians 4:13-14 from the Message says this: “And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.”

And I believe that Pops would agree with Paul who wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7, “This is the only race worth running. I've run hard right to the finish, believing all the way. All that's left now is the shouting—and God's applause!”

We miss Pops, but we didn’t lose him. We know where he is. The grave does not have the last word. Pops is in Heaven – singing, shouting, dancing, running. He fought a good fight and finished his course with joy. Today is the day that he lived his whole life for, and we can celebrate with him.

Proverbs 10:7 tells us that “the memory of the righteous will be a blessing.” We were all so blessed to have been part of his life, and every memory that we have of our time with him will continue to be a blessing to us.

The last time that I visited with Pops, I was able to tell him that we are expecting Claire. His whole face lit up. He was so excited. It's such a wonderful memory. When I told him goodbye, he told me that he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. That's exactly how I will always remember him - as a loving grandfather who was thrilled to be getting a new great-granddaughter.

My family is doing well. We are, of course, missing Pops very much. But we are taking care of one another and appreciate your prayers.


Valerie said...

I'm very sorry you lost your Pops. I love your whole family, and I know it must feel like a piece is missing. But your eulogy was amazing, and it's true -- you were so very blessed to have him in your life and share so many memories with him for so long. My prayers are with you and your family. (And not that you'd want to, but man, if you ever wanted a career in writing eulogies, you're one talented gal. But, of course, we already knew that about the talented part!)

Kristen_TulsaAPR said...

Amy, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers during this time of healing.