PLAIN VIEW FARM, RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:


GOD'S GRACE AMIDST CATASTROPHE:

PAPA'S LETTER CONCERNING EVENTS OF 1946-47

Cast of Family and Friends

B) Bessie (Bergit) Stadem: Mama, wife of Alfred

C) Frank Kirby: Long-time friend of Stadems

D) Ruby: Frank Kirby's sister

E) Ray Wicher: Close friend of the Ginthers

F) Mr. Cecil Schoop: Airplane dealer

G) Mr. Art Hendrickson: Old friend of Stadems, family lawyer and attorney

H) Stadem Children:.........Spouses of those married:

1) Pearl Ginther............Bob Ginther

2) Bernice Schaefer.........Russell Schaefer

3) Myrtle Svanoe............Bill Svanoe

4) Cora Taylor..............Carl Taylor

5) Alida Spilde.............Hans Spilde

6) Estelle Rangen...........Joseph Rangen

7) Arthur Stadem

8) Ruth Stadem

9) Leroy Stadem

Dear Loved Ones,

For a number of years of past I have made it
a point to write some letters at the beginning of the new year, and thus in part, pay off old debts to dear friends. And as our own children have flown out of the home next and established home nests of their own, we have made some effort to also write them such a letter. And as the years have rolled by, it has become a practice to send off a so-called Round Robin with duplicate copies. Then as we were aware even that could become wearisome to our readers and mostly old stuff at that, plus also a combination of circumstances made for a change, and mainly this, that our dear friend Frank moved so far away that instead of talking by the hour, we had to take time to write.

THE HARBINGER OF MANY UNSUSPECTED EVENTS

And of course Frank did write three letters to our one, and more and more interestingly too each time. Then as he was so appreciative of anything we mighty slap together, we hit upon the idea of writing him hit and miss of all our family doings, knowing here was no jealousy or envy regardless of what blessings we had enjoyed and told about. And thus while we were writing to Frank, we stuck in carbon copies that went off as a letter to the rest. Then as the year of 1946 was drawing to a close and we had been thinking about the many happenings of the year so swiftly passing, and even while we got out carbon copies to begin a new letter to send to our children, the rural deliveryman came to the mailbox at the gate. I got the mail and we opened it by the kitchen table, and we found one letter from Oswego, Oregon, and it was not Frank's handwriting which we expected.

A JOLTING LOSS OUT OF THE BLUE

No, it was his sister Ruby's, and as we started to read it said, "Dear friends: It is with heavy heart that I write this to you tonight. Frank passed on Friday afternoon at 2:30 pm. at that the letter continued....

TEARS USHERING IN MANY TO FOLLOW

This could have been expected, of course, but Mama and I did not expect it, and it made us feel very sad. Our tears were still trickling down our cheeks when here comes Ruth and Leroy in the door as a complete and pleasant surprise. Leroy came from the U.S. Navy in Japan, and Ruth had been informed of his coming home, so she came from Minneapolis and met him at Sioux Falls and they came up to the Farm together. But they noticed the sorrowful looks on our faces, and were somewhat baffled until we got to explain.

DEAR FRANK'S HOMEGOING CHANGES OLD WAYS

Many thoughts and happy memories passed before our mind's eye in days to come, and a book could be written on the experiences we enjoyed together times past with Frank. But we humbly confess that one thought came to me time and again as a reprimand --"To whom are you going to address yourself now when you write the letter you have been contemplating to write to Frank this year?"

...STILL, 1946 WAS CROWNED WITH BLESSINGS

Yes, you know how we have been signally blessed as a family and as individuals this year. We planned to tell of son Arthur's homecoming, the second day of the New Year, the happy days that followed in that connection; then how Hans and Alida purchased a little home sweet home in Sioux Falls; then how Bill and Myrtle sold their old place and purchased a new house and home near their church and closer to his work at John Deere's; also how Bernice and baby came home to stay for some time while Daddy was still away; how Pastor Joe and Estelle accepted a call to a church at EauClaire, Wisconsin--making it 140 miles closer to Plain View Farm; how Bob and Pearl sold their little home and bought a berry farm and started to build a big enough house to accommodate the size of the family and live where the work was; how Carl and Cora moved from the sweltering heat of Arizona, taking post-graduate work in Washington State in preparation to go out as missionaries for our Lord to the most neglected peoples of the world; then Ruth taking her last year at the Lutheran Bible Institute, hoping to go into full-time service for Our Savior as a parish worker possibly; and Leroy in the U.S. Navy plowing the Pacific as his brother Arthur had done for three years, only this, that he was expected to have it over with in 1947; furthermore, how everyone of our children and the 18 grandchildren and all but one of the son-in-laws got home on the old farm in this eventful year--some after four years of absence.

EVERYTHING LED UP TO--TO--BUT

And possibly you have already noticed one or two things we had intentionally omitted so far, that gave us all considerable joy at the time, and Frank had also been so happy about it when he heard about it. Oh, yes, we are going to speak about that too, but we can feel how we are beginning to cry inside already.



JOYS OF A FOND FATHER RECALLED

Well, let us tell this first. Arthur had saved his money while in the Navy, and it was not urgent that he should get out and work for wages, and it seemed to be a joy to him to help Mama and Papa in so many ways, fixing up tools and things in need of repair, painting and planting, and everything else as it came along. Then as Bill and family came to spend a couple weeks early in the summer, we talked Arthur into going back with them to Waterloo to visit many of his friends there, which he did, and he stayed about three weeks; he also spent some time with Hans and family at Sioux Falls, all this he really did enjoy.

A HUMAN TWISTER HITS THE FARM!

Then one night we were aroused out of bed when something that seemed like a small cyclone struck the place. It was our dear Bob and family that arrived after about 2000 miles of trip. We cannot go into details about this either, but to be sure, things were lively on Plain View Farm! All were well and happy, and more was to come.



BOB GOT HIS WINGS, AND A WONDERFUL 4TH

Bob, of course, had dealt for an airplane and soon struck off for Omaha to claim it. Then on the 4th of July, 1946, here comes a plane from the south and lands by Grandma's house, and that with taking motion pictures, and getting something to eat for everyone is enough for anyone's 4th of July.



Most everyone had a plane ride the next couple weeks, but Arthur and Bob made the most lengthly trips. Yes, others arrived--those from Massachusetts in the East meeting West, also Ruth getting a vacation from her hospital duties, etc.

FRIENDS GALORE JOIN THE FAMILY FROLICS

Perhaps, it suffices to say Mama served 35 for dinner one day and 16 was a common occurrence, and on different occasions it was a delight to see the movies Bob and Pearl had taken out in Washington State of places, trips, and berry picking, also of their trip coming East and some films taken while here as well.

BOB AND RAY TAKE OFF FLYING TO THE WEST COAST

By this time Bob had been talking about getting Arthur to drive the car and take the family home while he would have to fly the plane of course. So one morning, Bob and his long-time friend Ray Wicher took off from Plain View Farm and soared into the sky while we were watching them, till we could see only a tiny speck in the distance, and they were on their way to Washington.

ART RETURNS WITH GINTHER FARM'S BLACKBERRIES

Report came back later that all went there safely. All went just fine. Arthur, who had driven out, enjoyed some berry-picking too, also remembered us back home with a big box of the finest berries ever picked. Then one day, before we expected it, Arthur stepped out of a car by the kitchen door, and he was back on the job again, helping us here and there all the time.

MORE GLORY DAYS, BUT--DO YOU

SEE A DARK, UGLY CLOUD SAILING TOWARD US?

>The Taylors also arrived in fine shape and happy after driving hundreds of miles from Tucson, Arizona, by way of Waterloo and other places. But while you are reading this, I surmise you are all the time thinking there is a dark cloud in the distance! From our way of thinking, you might be right, but let us go on and thank our Loving Heavenly Father that He has hid our future from us, and that we can go on with our plans, enjoy each other's fellowship, and be happy in the Lord. But before I exhaust your patience, I must hasten with my reminisences and reflections.

ARTHUR MAKES PLANS TO FORGE AHEAD

By this time, Arthur has decided to attend Augustana College in Sioux Falls, has made his application, filling out blanks, and an autobiographical sketch was required. We have copies of this, and value it highly. [Copies of this, and original too, are in the PVF Archives, 2012--Ed.] When time for school to start, Mama and I went with Arthur down to Sioux Falls, and thank God for the privilege; also got to visit at the new home of Hans and Alida for the first time. Stayed over the weekend and enjoyed it.

Then according to plans Arthur got off from school and came home October 18th for the State School land sale at Clark, when he purchased the quarter section adjoining the old home place on the west side of the road. This transaction was in his parents' estimation tops of all the deals made by our loved ones in that eventful year of 1946--as you can surmise that underneath lay the hope and prospect that one our ours would some day, God willing, be our neighbor! And soon we are nearing the time when he, who had to leave home for the Navy on the 2nd day of Christmas to miss his brother by just one week as he came home the 2nd day of January--yes, Leroy got back to Sioux Falls for Thanksgiving Day and enjoyed some precious hours with loved ones there.

Then is when our story started where Ruth and Leroy came home while we were reading Ruby's sad letter. Now, of course, we have had to omit so much of interest to us, such as Hans and family here when they brought Arthur for the Land Sale; Bernice and her boy returning after a couple months' absence while helping at the Svanoe home during the arrival of a brand new boy and visiting in Wisconsin and Michigan, etc.

LOOKING TOWARD CELEBRATING JESUS' BIRTH

Now that Leroy has gone back to the Navy, Ruth to her studies, and all fall work in full swing at Plain View, the only variation until Christmas was receiving interesting letters and answering them and making plans for Christmas--while hoping some of our loved ones would be here to enjoy it with us also this year. Of course we have had to get used to the fact, by this time, that it would not be possible for all of our dear ones to gather on the old homestead of Plain View Farm as they managed to do year after year to celebrate our Savior's birthday until Cora went to Alaska and got married there, and Arthur had to spend Christmas night riding the waves of the great Pacific later; thus the circle could not be complete, hence others also had to forego the pleasure but some have been able to make it home every Christmas so far.

CHRISTMAS JOYS OF 1946

So also this year. Yes, Arthur planned to get home for sure, also Ruth and they made it--yet, even to help with preparations for the great holidays-then the Spildes made it in fine shape too, thus making it 10 of us in number, and we had a blessed Christmas together. And while we missed those who could not be here, they seemed very close to us at that. We received letters from them, full of good news and happy plans they were making for the same occasion, and then came packages and boxes of all descriptions, and by Christmas Eve they were piled high by the Christmas tree.

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM A BLACK WHIRLING DISK!

Then after a small program, yes, even Christmas greeting pieces performed by two and three year olds, they were privileged to distribute the mysterious packages, and again we were all wonderfully close together with all our loved ones. And one thing that made that happy feeling more real than usual was when a package with phonograph records was opened and we put them on the phonograph, and had the joy of hearing Christmas greetings and well wishes from the Ginthers and the Taylors way out there in Washington State.

HINDSIGHT IS NO HELP NOW;

GOD'S WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS

Truly they were a thrill-they were so real to us on the records. Oh, how we thank our Loving Heavenly Father for giving us also this Christmas of 1946 unmarred. You know what I mean. Oh yes, Bob had written very plainly at that, and we were really looking for him every time we heard a plane coming. Mama did say she wished he would not take off in the midst of winter, yet we all wanted to see him, of course. Yes, Ruth was really disappointed that he did not arrive before she had to go back, and Arthur did wish he would arrive before he had to go back to school, as he would like to go with him hunting for a day or two as Bob had intimated --but nope, no Bob came. We took Ruth to Vienna for the trip to Minneapolis on Saturday, p.m., and then Arthur to Bryant in the evening for the train to Sioux Falls, and had we known Bob was in Sioux Falls then dealing for plane, then what?

"THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!"

I have before me Arthur's last message home written on a postal card, Monday, 9:50 a.m. It reads in parts: "Dear folks at home, Well, I just came back from one class and chapel, so I'm right back in the swing of things again." Then it closes thus: "There's more news, but due to space, time, and other reasons, I better sign off. Tak for alt! ["Thanks for everything!"] Lovingly, Arthur."

THRILLS WITH BOB IN THE PLANE

This other reason was that Bob was down there at Sioux Falls dealing for a plane. Of course, Thursday noon, while we were sitting at the dinner table, came a plane from the south, straight for the house, as he turned and tilted the plane, we saw it was our Bob, and he landed, and soon was ushered to the kitchen table while answering questions and telling things. Sure a thrill and joy! The weather was perfect , and all were happy! The question was, "Would I go along with him and hunt foxes, and do the shooting?" to be sure he had to be back to Sioux Falls Wednesday night, as he and Arthur were going fox hunting Thursday, as Arthur did not have classes that day. Sure, I told Bob I'd go with him and hunt! And hunt we did--way west of Clark then back for lunch, then another trip all around Goose Lake, then next day to Brookings, and back, then to Sioux Falls. All went just fine, and if the weather would change and start to get rough, we would go back to Bryant on Thursday. Otherwise, we would plan to stay over until Friday morning, then go back, as he wanted to get over to his folks that day if possible.

BOB'S CARE TO GLORIFY GOD IN HIS SPEECH

After being served a big supper at our Spildes Wednesday evening, we got their car, and went by and picked up Arthur at college, then went to some dear friends of Bob's, the Fredricksons, and showed movie pictures as the arrangements had been made previously. A most enjoyable evening it was, and Bob as usual, did not pass up any chance to say something to glorify the Lord. Then as it was getting late, we took Arthur back to his room at school and Bob and I went on to Spildes, where a bed was awaiting us. And here in peace slept two together for the last time on this earth.

DAWN OF A BEAUTIFUL DAY

Thursday morning, January 9th, 1947, dawned, and as nice as we could wish. I and Bob the two bedfellows awoke as happy as could be, and we began to talk and tease and joke as two happy little boys naturally would do. Bob was complimented how much better he behaved in the plane than he did in bed (we hasten to say he never made a move or awoke us up once). As a comeback, I was complimented how smart I was to get to bed first and choose the best part of the bed, etc. Well, there was not much time for playing around like this, as Hans had to be at work by 8:00 a.m.

BOB'S PERSONAL TESTIMONY GIVEN

But while Bob was getting dressed, getting something out of his satchel, up came his hand with a little old and worn book in it with the remark, "I've still got my dear Testament with me, the little book that brought me face to face with God through the conviction of sin." Upon my asking to relate it, he went into details we would like so much to relate here, but for the lack of space must omit. Only this, Bob saying, "I was reading from the first Epistle of Peter, third chapter, verse 10, when I was reminded right here, I'm guilty and have willfully sinned against God, and by His power I must overcome this, and so I knelt right down and prayed about it, and when I arose I was possessed by a peace and calm as never I had experienced before, and from that time as a boy of 15 years, I have always enjoyed the fellowship of the Lord."

LAST ARRANGEMENTS BEFORE TAKE-OFF

We must hasten on. It was agreed that I should go along, so that I should have the car and could call on some of our dear friends while in town, as Bob was not too sure he and Arthur would come back for dinner, depending on where they would be hunting at that time. Just as we drove up at 2006 S. Euclid, Arthur came out of the house with a smile, got in the car, and the four of us in the Plymouth schuttled off. Hans dropped off at Lock's Electric where he worked, and Bob, Arthur, and I left for the airport with the agreement that I should come by and take them along to dinner after the flight. Arriving at the airport, some time was spent looking at the many different planes on hand. Then Bob suggested that I'd better go back to enjoy the visit with some of the friends in town, but I replied, "I want to stay and see you take off." Then we went out to get things ready and start the motor.

BOB WAS UNEASY

Some frost had accumulated on the plane. Hence we wiped the windshield, etc., then as a helper out there I helped Bob start the motor, and I also showed Arthur how to operate the automatic shotgun. The motor just did not seem to run right. Not much was said about it, as we reasoned that as it warmed up, it would start to purr alright. But as we waited, it just did not get any different. Bob not being satisfied with that motor as it took too much oil, had registered his complaints with the owner, and now this kind of action made him kind of uneasy.

"JUST GIVE HER ANOTHER TRY, BOB!"

He again suggested that that I better take the car and go to town. Again, I replied as formerly. Then he invited me to go in the hangar and see another plane he could take for the same money, and thought he would if this one did not let up on taking so much oil by tonight. But as the salesman and owner, Mr. Shoop, had urged him to give it another try-out, he thought he better do that just once more.

A STRANGE LAST IMPRESSION

After considerable delay, we went out again to the plane where Arthur was watching it, and the same jerky motion and smoke from the exhaust was prevalent. After wiping some more frost off, and some attempt at talking for passing the time, Bob and Arthur decided to get in and go down the runway, thinking a pull on the motor would bring about the desired adjustment. While watching our two boys get in to the plane, I could not refrain from saying to them, a second time, "The way you two are dressed, it looks more like you are going to church than that you are going hunting."

GOD'S MERCY IN THE LEAST DETAIL

Well, they were seated and we closed the door as we said good-bye; Arthur motioned to me to hold back on the strut to help make the short turn. Then as I let go, we waved a good-bye, and they were on the way down the runway. As I was watching and waiting, expecting he would turn into the wind most any place--to my way of thinking, Bob was always too over-careful anyhow--they went clear to the farther end of the field which seems over a mile away. Again a stop and a standstill, then as I was watching, the plane started ahead, and as it accelerated, it came at an unusually low level for a long ways before it raised to a flying level; then, as I saw it swing off to the north like the bird in the spring, I hurriedly got in the car, and started back to town. I also thank God for this, as if I had witnessed the plane a few minutes more, I might have seen it dive to earth and from fear of what might have happened, been promptly informed, and gone to the scene indescribable to behold for those who loved them so.

THE LAST MOMENTS OF NOT KNOWING

Hence, now we have seen our dear Arthur and Bob for the last time on this earth. To complete the mental picture, we will hasten to tell just this. As I got back to the Spildes, Hans had just called Alida at home to have her tell me to come down to the garage at once, but on her inquiry, he did not tell what it was about, as he always did, she said. I with pleasure drove his car back there, wondering a little what it could be about, but rather unconcerned as I thought possibly he had something to show me.

WORDS OF DOOM

As I entered the office at Lock's Electric, looking around for Hans, I saw the Mr. Schoop, the man who sold Bob the plane, but thought nothing, and thought that he did not even see me. I went back in the shop to locate Hans, and as I asked him if it was something he wanted to see about, he answered as he pointed at Mr. Schoop, who had followed me, and said, "He has some bad news for you!" Still setting hope against hope, I replied, "What is it?" He said, "The plane crashed!"

"IS THERE NO HOPE?"

By then, I said, "Is there no hope?" When both of them intimated there was none, I felt as if the marrow went out of all my bones and asked that they take me out to the car. I ventured to ask what really happened, and Hans said that the plane crashed and burned up. I surmised the rest.

A BLESSED ASSURANCE AT THE DARKEST TIME

While Hans went back in to take off his work suit, Mr. Schoop stayed in the car with me, and as I bemoaned the terrible tragedy, did say I did know our boys were in Glory, because they loved the Lord and lived for Him, but oh! how I wished everybody would surrender to God and get ready to meet Him at any time.

TWO WAYS TO RESPOND TO CALAMITY

To this Mr. Schoop said nothing, but when I said, "I know this could not have happened if God had not permitted it" he replied, "Yes, but some question God's justice in doing things like this." In reply to him, I said, "I would not do that, as I know God knows best, and I would submit to His dealing even though it is hard to take."

GOD, THE HELP OF THE HELPLESS

Hans then came, and we two went to tell Alida, at which time we had to humbly kneel and ask God to give us strength to carry on. God answered our prayer in many ways, but to us the answer was Hans. We had needed him before, but never as we did right now. And the beauty of it was he recognized God's hand in every move that we made.

PRAYERS SAVE THE SOUL FROM SINKING

At this point we were aware how many prayers by believing hearts were offered up on our behalf. And that has been substantiated by the many hundreds of sympathy cards when it was often stated: "We prayed for you folks when we heard it over the radio." Now we are thinking of the messages that had to be sent to all our loved ones, and not the least, to our dear Pearl, who had lost both a husband and a brother, and then the receiving of those messages --"Oh, dear Lord, help us poor creatures" was our prayer for all concerned. A book could be written on just this....

[website visitors, please refer to Tributes and other sections dealing with this incident --Editors],

...and accounts of how gently the Lord dealt with everyone. Yes, He has promised to hear the prayers of those who call on Him in time of need. It was busy moments for Hans in particular from now on, as we hoped to get up on the farm and break the news gently to Mama and Bernice too.

THE FATHER'S ORDEAL OF IDENTIFICATION

WAS SPARED HIM

But there was much to do and be arranged for first, and then God had another way. Some of us, for instance, had to go to the funeral home and see them. Was it not possible that it could still be a mistake, and that there still was hope? They were burned, but indications were that they never knew it. Oh, no, I would rather remember them as they looked this morning, well-dressed, smiling, and happy, so I asked, "Will you go in and see them, Hans?" "I will try," he answered.

GOD'S MERCY IN THEIR INSTANT DEATHS

His report a little later was, "Oh, yes, it was them alright, but the indications were that their deaths were instant. Bob had an anxious look on his face, and Arthur had a pleasant look on his face indicating that he never knew the plane was steering for the ground. They were burned some, especially the clothing, but the blow as the plane struck the earth, was evident on their bodies, that they were killed instantly."

FATHER AND DAUGHTER SHARE THE GREAT LOSS

We thank God also for this. It seems more terrible to burn to death. Now we have to pass over so much here, but like to make special mention of the phone call from Bryant. It was our dear Bernice calling. Yes, it was Bob, we said, and the other was Arthur. Martin Waldow had heard it over the radio-- "Bob and one unidentified as yet had crashed." Martin suffered with us like so many others did, so it was in a gentle way he conveyed the sad news we already knew.

FRIENDS, PASTORS, GOD'S PROMISES

BRING CHEERING FIRST AID

By this time kind neighbors called to be of assistance both here and there. Pastors Blegan, Stavik, and a Baptist pastor made brief calls at the Spilde home, and poured out their hearts to God, that He alone would supply the comfort needed in this dark hour, and they read from God's "love Letter" the Bible His promises that did supply our needs.

FRIENDSHIP'S GOLDEN MOMENT

The trip home was not a joyous ride this time as it so often had been, and the meeting in the home was not the usual one with smiles as loved ones meet. But the Lord was also now present, and helped to bear the burden, and here was our friend Arthur Hendrickson come to cheer and comfort us --illustrating what it says in I Corinthians 12:26, which proved out its truth in a double sense now, and in the following days, that "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it". Who but Arthur Hendrickson would get in his car alone and drive a hundred miles more or less to come and shed tears with you and witness your sorrow? Poor indeed is the person who has no friends like this one, and truly rich are we when we have many such friends. And then to know our loved ones were so well known and highly respected. We thank God for that. But oh dear, this is still hard, and life wlll never be the same for any of us, I'm sure. To think our hopes and plans for years to come so suddenly come to an end, and this way!

THE BLINDERS OF MERE MORTAL PERSPECTIVE

And then in following days as we are trudging along, the weather is unfavorable, things come hard and this thought comes again and again, "If only our dear ones were still were still here." Then we must turn our thoughts elsewhere, and the thoughts as expressed by Marie Turk seem the only way out when she says, "Could we read the final chapter of our life, then we should see great advantages and blessings in all our adversities. We should know that in His mercy--though our sight were very dim --He had blessed us in each trial just to keep us close to Him." Oh, yes, dear Lord, that is after all what we want. How inverted our way of thinking is after all. Truly it is selfishness on our part to wish them back here among us. Just think, what is He has to offer? Some more years of hardships, struggle, sin, and temptations? Yes, a lot more along the same line. The trouble is that we do not really believe with our whole heart that Heaven is what the Bible says it is. We are like the native prince of Burma after an Englishman had tried to describe to him Europe in winter, frozen ponds, skating, etc., etc. The Burmese ruler looked at him, shook his head sternly, and exclaimed, "You have told me many wonderful things, but I will never believe nor can believe that water becomes hard enough to walk on. If the whole world told me so I would not believe it."

WE SEE IN A GLASS DARKLY

I recall what we read years ago about slavery in Russia. Their prisoners were sent into Siberia to work in the mines for life--men and women, children were born, raised, and lived down in those deep mines and as grown-ups, died there, and they all never saw the day light with all that goes with it. How do you think we can describe the heavens, sun, moon, stars, earth trees, vegetation, rivers, lakes, and oceans to those unfortunates, and make them understand it? So while we know Heaven is wonderful, no human language can describe it. And if there were no Heaven, nothing is lost, but all is gain, living a Christian life here anyhow. But there is a Heaven, and there is where our dear ones are with all those who put their trust in God and His plan of salvation, which is Christ the Door. "So I will just trust my Savior. He will give me strength day by day to bear my griefs and burdens, as I journey along life's way."

LEGACIES OF INSPIRING LIVES NEVER DIE

Thus we could go on and on, as we view the many mysteries and so-called mysteries of creation, the here and the hereafter, the purpose of creation, and the purpose of our individual little lives. And then this before I conclude this letter --"We are here left behind with the memory of our dear ones, but not that only, we are inspired by the memory of their conduct, to live a more consecrated life for our Lord.

BOB'S CHARACTER AND HUMOR SHINES

First, I think of Bob, how often have I wished I knew my Bible and could quote it by memory like he did, and that as a final proof concerning problems of the day. And I recall his dislike of conversing about the unpleasant things and his ability to forgive and forget, and swing the conversation unto the profitable things that build us up rather than tear us down. Also I remember his generosity and the unusual sense of humor original with him too. God be praised for memory of Bob Ginther.

"TRAIN UP A CHILD THE WAY HE SHOULD GO..."

Then for Arthur --without a question he remained in his baptismal covenant with the Lord since his infancy. Truly, he never said good-bye to the Lord in his heart when a child and later as a young man. And what a joy to recall his appetite for spiritual food from the Bible and from sermons and messages --anywhere it was to be found. God opened my eyes through him that this theory--"Children's patience will become over-exhausted if kept or held too close in a spiritual atmosphere"--is of the Devil. Space will not permit to say anything about Arthur here, but you may refer later to his college roommate's letter, that we think much of, and thank God for it.

And now while their bodies are at rest in the cemetery here, where loving hands will decorate the graves, their spirits are in Glory while their bodies await the day of Christ's return when the soul will reunite with the bodies glorified. And this we know, their message to us now would be, "Weep not for us, but stay close to the Lord Jesus Christ all your days, that where we are, ye may be also." --Alfred Stadem

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