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Verna Lee Clark

October 7, 1947 ~ August 24, 2019 (age 71)

Verna Lee Clark   10/7/1947 - 08/24/2019

Amazing Woman- Incredible impact-  The story of our mom!

Our mom is an amazing woman.   I have so much to say about her, but the most powerful thing I can say about her is how much she impacts others.   It is rare to find someone in life that speaks into your life in every encounter, but that is my mom.  I am writing this in order to share with you how through God’s grace and provision and mercy, my mom has shaped so many and has a long lasting footprint in this world and the people she has encountered.  I love you mom, and am so grateful that you have steered me toward Jesus all my life!  You really are amazing!  

Early years

My mom was born to Wanda and Vernon Riddle on October 7th, 1947 at Rose Hospital in Denver, Colorado.   Her “Birth-mom” was never really a mom to her.   She gave birth to her, but soon left her and her two siblings, Darnell and Leonard, as well as her father Vernon.  To this day, they still don’t know the reason she left.  She was never able to reconcile with her and doesn’t have many memories as she left them when mom was so young at the time. From what she was told, her mother was from the Cherokee Nation, but not a whole else is known about her background.  Her father (Vernon) was a handsome man who loved to play guitar and sing.   He drove a truck for a living and also was a Sergeant in the army during WWII.  He was medically discharged due to diabetes.  A disease that would end up taking his life when she was just 10 years old.  He was buried in Ft. Logan cemetery in Denver, CO.  When mom was just three years old, she went to live with her Uncle Pete and Aunt Amy near Springfield, Colorado.  She struggled spending time with her natural father because of her fondness for her Uncle Pete and Aunt Amy. Vernon always struggled being the father she needed.  After her father passed away, she went to live permanently with her Uncle Pete and Aunt Amy, while her two siblings went to live with her other relatives, Leonard with Aunt Gladys and Uncle Jim and Darnell with Grandma and Grandpa Riddle

Soon after her father passed away, she found those parental figures who helped shape her into the amazing woman she became. Even though they were Aunt and Uncle, she fondly called them daddy and mama.  She had three additional siblings (cousins by blood, but sisters and brother by God's design), her sister Oneta, sister Karen and brother Clyde.  "Mama (Amy) was a real hard worker.   If she wanted something done, she would do it.  She wasn’t overly affectionate, but you always knew she loved you."   She would always teach her kids how to do “hands-on” things such as sewing, cooking, chores, feeding the animals and singing.  She loved art and painting.  She loved the Lord and it was a blessing watching her worship.  Her daddy (Pete) was a quiet man, but he loved to tease.  In fact, he would tease just to get a rise out of people!  He also loved to worship and sang bass. He was a good farmer.  He would always have the straightest rows of corn, maize, wheat, it didn’t matter the crop, because it would always be straight and in line.  He was always known as being prepared!  He always kept up on his finances and never bit off more than they could chew.   He had an amazing fatherly hug. He was also very creative!  He loved to weld and create things, something he passed down to his children and grandchildren, but even more important was the value of being thoughtful and loving Jesus with everything you have! 

One of Mom’s earliest memories living on the farm was how connected the community was and how much everyone seemed to be called family.  She remembers going to the Lonestar school, a one-room schoolhouse.   She was always a good student and loved to learn as she always loved a challenge.  She still has friends and family in her life from those early days. 

A memory that is etched in her mind occurred one trip they had taken to Texas.  They stopped at a courthouse in the town where here natural mom was supposed to be living in order to try to connect with her.   That tore mom up as she thought they were going to give her back to her natural mom.   Her sister Karen stood up and marched into the courthouse to stick up for her sister.  Pete and Amy told her they wouldn’t ever do that again, they only wanted to connect with her, but it so traumatized her and they felt so bad.  

They all attended the Springfield Pentecostal Holiness Church, pastored by her Granddad.  Then after the church in Campo was built, they went to the Campo Pentecostal Holiness Church.  At a very young age, mom accepted Christ into her heart.  She was baptized by Lloyd Wilson in her Daddy’s irrigation pond.  Of all the people in her life, she felt that her mama and daddy were the most influential.   She still remembers Sunday School lessons taught by her Aunt Delma Rogers and Aunt Delma Jackson.   She feels that she was taught one of the most important “mantra’s” at this young age.  “Your word is important!  It’s very important to know that what I say I will do,  I will follow through and do it!” 

Mom never felt like she wasn’t wanted or that she was an outsider, but that she was part of the family.  In 1977 while driving from the farm, Pete had a major heart attack, in fact Amy had to grab the wheel to keep them from flipping over.  He died in her arms.  Amy later re-married, Lee Ventor after selling the farm and moving to Springfield, Colorado.  

Mom stated that her Mama was a staunch Democrat!  Lee however, always voted against the Democrats making her so angry.  Lee, however, would just chuckle! Lee loved his birddog Baretta. Amy wrote a book about Baretta, in fact,  here is an excerpt “ A huntin’ We Will Go (The dogs perspective) -  "Harold Lee bought me to go a bird huntin’ with his dad.   The first time out there on the prairies, hot and thirsty, with all of those guys with big guns to shoot little birds, I decided right away “that’s not for me”.  Oh, I could find the birds all right, and I could point real nice, but I didn’t like the loud gun noises.   I don’t like loud noise!  I tried, but Lee finally had to give up, I just wouldn’t ever be a bird huntin’ dog.  I think he was sorely disappointed with me, but I tried real hard to make it up to him by just being nice and kind and loving everyone.”   Amy died in 1994 from cancer.

Teen years from Darnell Ogg (moms sister) (from her own writings)

Mulberry picking….One year our trip to the farm had hit a lull in activities, partly due to our being unable to think it was so cotton-pickin hot!  Across from the Aunt Amy & Uncle Pete’s farm was an abandoned farmhouse with some trees surrounding it and providing some enticing-looking shade.   Since we were unable to come up with anything more troublesome, we decided to visit this old farmhouse & enjoy the shade from the low growing trees.   Once we walked over there, Verna volunteered that the low growing shrubs were actually mulberries.  Now none of us knew what a mulberry was, but hey, if it was a berry it couldn’t be too bad right?  We found old cans & we used our shirts & we picked and picked and picked.  On returning to the farm we prepared for gastronomical delight after washing our berries.   Except…Aunt Amy saw several small crawling “things” on her dinner table.   On closer examination, it appeared there was a plethora of small greenish-white worms.   Aunt Amy hollered and all our hard work went for naught.   We did not have mulberries to adorn Aunt Amy’s cake!  The chickens loved the mulberries, and we all tried not to think about the handful of berries we’d eaten as we picked.  Many years later Richie and I had moved to Oklahoma and our first Spring there Richie cam into our house grinning.   A neighbor up the road had just informed him that we had some mulberry trees in our backyard.   To Richie’s great surprise I did not take him up on his offer to pick some mulberries for a cobbler. 

Up the roadI hate snakes, well most reptiles truth be told, but especially snakes.   Ironic that many of our summer vacations were spent in Baca County Colorado and there were snakes, all kinds of snakes.   At some point in time I’d been nearly frightened out of my mind by rattlesnakes, bull snakes, king snakes, rat snakes, racers and a myriad of those whose names I cannot remember.   If I didn’t see them I could try to pretend they weren’t there and find a bit of solace in pretended ignorance.   I also hate unrelenting heat.   One thing there is plenty of in Baca County is hot weather.   When the boredom of summer got to be too much, Verna and I would ride a tractor or a horse or walk to the one of the families farms.   One day us kids headed out to Tony and Dorothy Rodgers to visit with their four children and see if those cousins could invent something to do.   As we walked, up the road slogging through the soft, sugary sand between the farms, Verna stopped and called me to look at something near the edge of the road.   It happened to be a patch of particular nasty stickers we called devils claws.   Not terribly intriguing if you weren’t a victim of those nasty thorns.   Then she ran from side to side trying to draw my attention and delaying our forward progress.   After repeated attempts to draw my attention failed, I said it was doggone hot and I wanted to get on over to Tony and Dorothy's house for a cold glass of well water.   Unable to delay me any longer, Verna finally said she was trying to keep me from seeing the snake crossing the sandy road ahead of us.  I looked up ahead to see the biggest bull snake id ever seen.   It stretched from one side of the road to the other, and it was easily as big around as a coffee can.   I froze..I couldn’t go forward, I was afraid to go back.  My feet would not work and it literally took all of the kids pulling on me to make me move.   Of course, I bore lots of teasing from Denny and Donny but they didn’t see that monster snake.   The best part of the day was Donny drove us home in Uncle Tony’s pickup!  Later as we were getting ready for bed, Verna quietly said, “That was a doggone big snake wasn’t it?”

A memory from Karen (moms sister):  "My Verna, you are always on my mind.   I am so thankful Jesus gave me you.  We were always together until I graduated and even then we were always close.   I'm glad we shared a room until Daddy built another one on our house when I was a senior.   I remember he went to Springfield and bought us our own bedroom furniture.  Mother said he even picked it out.  It was nice.  He liked "sturdy" stuff.  So we both still have it in our families.  So many nights we would talk and giggle until Mama would tell us to go to sleep.   We had a lot of nights to share secrets and dreams.   I remember you, Lewanna and I, sneaking into the pantry (after strict lights out orders) and mixing our own concoction of peanut butter and syrup with crunched up crackers in it.   We invented crunchy peanut butter.   I'm sure we left plenty of DNA evidence all over the place.   Sticky finger prints, crumbs and dirty spoons.  Mother never said a word.  She liked knowing where we were and what we were doing.  The only thing that kind of griped me about you was…I played the piano strictly by ear.  I would work hard to figure out the chords and melody to a song.   You would watch and listen, then sit down and play it better than I did!  Oh well, all is forgiven.  You did good.  God knew where He was sending you.  And as for our secrets.  I never told.  Never will.  Why would I after all these years.  I love you, my doll."

Mom spoke of many friends from Campo and Springfield.  In fact, she was related to a majority of them.  But one of her best friends growing up was Jeanie (Dixon).   They would hang out talk about boys and their dreams. Mom would talk about how she always wanted to be a home economics teacher.  She still keeps in touch with her! 

Mom graduated high school in 1965 and decided to attend Southwestern College of Christian Ministries (Southwestern Christian University). She had met Dad before all this at church camp. In April of 1966 Dad asked her to marry him and she said yes!   Initially she had apprehensions about marrying a preacher, but she felt God had arranged this marriage.  Her mom had three months to get ready for the wedding as they were married August 26th, 1966.  Just prior to getting married, Jim Meltabarger (and uncle) who also served as the Superintendent of the Colorado IPHC had asked them to take a church in Norwood, Colorado and so as soon as they were married, they stayed in Lamar at the luxurious Cow Palace Inn.  Then they visited Mom and Dad Clark and then they moved to Norwood, CO.   Mom was 18 years old, newly married and in one of the coldest places in the United States!  Mom said that she loved the simple life, it was hard and cold but God’s beauty was amazing in that part of the world. 

After a couple years, Mom started getting sick, finally went to Dr. Peters in Norwood who confirmed it, she was pregnant.   They were poor and had to borrow money from the bank.  When dad went into the bank, the banker said there are a lot of dishonest preachers, to which dad replied, there are a lot of dishonest bankers as well. He got the loan.  Mom was sick a lot with her first baby.  Mom craved bread and watermelon during her pregnancy, in fact, watermelon was not widely available in the winter time, but dad was able to get one and bring it to mom.  Mom, ate almost the entire watermelon and got sick.  That took care of the craving.  Yolanda was born January 17th, 1969 in the Montrose Colorado hospital. 

Yolanda was such a cute baby.  She was colicky and cried a lot when her tummy hurt.   She was definitely a daddy’s girl. Yolanda was stubborn (for sure!).   Mom remembers once when Yolanda’s cousin David was with them, Yolanda was licking the bowl and refused to let David lick the bowl.   She called David stupid and got in trouble.  She was so stubborn she wouldn’t apologize.  It took her until the next day to apologize! 

In 1970, they left Norwood to pastor Grand Junction as they felt the Lord move them there.  This was the same church that Dad’s mom (Nezzie Clark) pastored years earlier.  They made some amazing life-long friends in Grand Junction such as the Vavaks.   Dad needed to be bi-vocational as the church didn’t have enough funds to support a full time pastor.  He worked construction and carried lots of sheetrock!  In April of 1971, Tyler was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.  It was hard because they didn’t have money.  One good thing was that she didn’t get as sick during this pregnancy and Tyler wasn’t colicky.  Every time they would get some extra money, they would go to a village inn, Tyler would knock over his milk every time, from a baby to a teen.  It didn’t matter how far the milk was from him he still managed to knock it over!  Tyler and Yolanda got along pretty well as long as Tyler did what Yolanda said.   Yolanda loved to boss her brother!  

They moved from Grand Junction to St Louis Mo to pastor in 1972 and were there less than a year.  The stairs in the house were really steep.  In fact, one day, Tyler was in his walker and Yolanda politely opened the door letting Tyler go down the stairs, tumbling down the stairs walker and all!  They both loved their toys, Yolanda with her dollies and Tyler loved to scoot his little riding horse across the floor. 

Later, in 1972 they moved to Hutchinson, KS to pastor.  They were there for six years.   Tyler and Yolanda went to McCandlis Elementary school.  Yolanda would mysteriously get sick before lunch on days when she didn’t like what was on the menu!   They had many neighborhood friends they hung out with.  One day, Tyler and Chrissy were missing.   The whole neighborhood looked everywhere for them.  Finally, they were found in a shack jumping on a spring mattress like a trampoline.  Mom made sure Tyler didn’t “run-away” again with a good spanking! Mom has so many fond memories of Hutchinson and ministry here.  She loved the state fair!  Their church always partnered with some other churches selling food for missions.   Glen Edmonds helped raise money for missions, had a dunk tank (dunk the pastor), and other games all for raising money to help those less fortunate.  They learned a lot about generosity from the members of this church.  Mom worked at a wig shop to help make ends meet.   Mom remembers Ruby Nelson and her chocolate pies.  (I remember them as the best pies ever, followed closely by Janie Mangrum's pies- Lets just call it a tie).  Yolanda was picky about her food, but Tyler was not except for onions.  He hated onions and still does to this day. 

Mom enjoyed raising her kids in Hutchinson.  She remembers there were challenges.   One day Tyler came and said there was a gator at the ditch.   Mom got dad and discovered it was a snapping turtle.   Dad used the end of the broom to get him back to the canal.  The turtle snapped onto the end of the broom, Mom was just thankful that her kids weren’t on the receiving end of the turtle chomping.  Things were pretty mild in Hutchinson, except for the weather.   Tornadoes were scary!   Tyler was so scared by the sirens and tornadoes.   We had several close calls just in the six years we were there.

Yolanda had a best friend named Candacea (Edmonds).  They would go everywhere together and are still friends today.   Yolanda would always say how she loved Candacea’s hair. The kids would always hang out with others in the church.  Tyler and Yolanda both found the Lord in this church and mom will always be grateful.

In 1978, Dad felt God was moving them back to Colorado.   Dad got a job at Denver Athletic Club and they decided to move.   They attended Evans PH Church, with Robert Clark (Dads brother) as the Pastor.  

Mom and dad purchased their first house at 2616 S. Irving and lived a short time there.  In 1980, they moved to Littleton following Uncle Robert's move to Springfield CO to pastor.  Dad was voted in as Pastor and shortly after the Evans church moved to Littleton (8055 S. Lincoln) and became Bethany Temple.  Ultimately, Mom and Dad were able to purchase the house across the street.  Mom got a job a Joslins at Cinderella City and shortly after went to work at the University of Denver (DU) where she worked herself up into leadership positions.  Mom said she really enjoyed working at the University as it was challenging yet fulfilling as she was able to pour into many college students.  Mom and dad pastored Bethany Temple/Bethany Christian Fellowship until 1987.  Dad not only pastored, but also became conference superintendent.  Some of their best friends came out of this church (Such as the Gunders)!  

In 1987,  they moved to Oklahoma City and pastored Northwest PH Church until January of 1990.  Mom worked at Southwestern College in marketing and recruiting (from her In those short two years, they made several life long friends (such as the Hamilton family) and were able to pour into many lives.  They moved back to Littleton in 1990 to go back to pastor at Bethany while Tyler stayed in Oklahoma City to finish his senior year.  Mom also was hired back at DU where she really thrived!     

Yolanda and Jeff had been dating and ultimately were married in 1988 in Fort Collins Colorado.   They lived in Ft Collins until Jeff graduated from Colorado State University in 1989.   They moved to Denver where Jeff got his first job. Jeff and Yolanda began attending Bethany to help mom and dad out at the church.  Jeff ran the Royal Rangers program, while Yolanda helped mom run the children's program.  Jeff became a board member and played drums on the worship team, while Yolanda sang on the worship team.  Jeff and Yolanda also hosted the young married group. 

After Tyler graduated from High School (PC West), he moved back to Littleton to join mom and dad and family at Bethany.  Around that same time, Yolanda began working at DU.  

It was in 1996 where Laura (Stewart)  entered the picture.   After coming to Colorado with Miss Charlotte Iaquinta (Mrs. I as she is affectionately known by her students at Southwestern Christian University),  she met mom at a women's conference.   Mom was beaming that Sunday because she told Tyler that she met his future wife, which Tyler replied,  "Whatever"!  

In October of 1997, Tyler and Laura were married!   Apparently, the gift of prophecy was given to mom. 

In 1997, Yolanda found out she was pregnant with Keagan and ended her employment at DU and instead began working for the Rocky Mountain IPHC Conference while Jeff began his climb up the corporate ladder.   Keagan was born January 28, 1998.  Mom was smitten from day one and so was Keagan.   Most Sunday afternoons we would go over to mom and dads so that mom could have her Keagan time.   One time in particular, Jeff and Yolanda had a work dinner and mom was going to watch Keagan for them,  as they left and were saying goodbye, Keagan started crying.  Jeff told Keagan that it was ok, they would be back soon to pick him up and upon hearing that, Keagan's tears instantly dried up and he said, "I get to stay with Mema?  Ok!

It was also around this time that Papas mom, Nezzie Clark, came to live with them.  Mom and Grandma Clark had such a special relationship.

Tyler began working in insurance and Laura got a job at DU.   Tyler and Laura also began helping at Bethany as they became the youth pastors.  In August of 1999,  they had their first son Caleb.  Mema and Caleb were two peas in a pod!  

Mom sure loved holding her grandkids and loving on them!!!  All the while she became even more successful at the director level at DU.   Mom says the important thing about balancing family and work, was that you put God at the center of both.

In 2002 Tyler, Laura and Caleb moved to Japan to be missionaries.   Mom and dad really struggled, but understood!   At the airport mom was crying alligator tears and Caleb had to be physically taken from her grasp crying , "Mema!!!  Mema!!!", all way through security.  Oh that was hard!

In 2003,  Laura and Tyler had their second son, Jonah.   In 2004, they saw their first church plant in Omura, Japan (15 years now)

But nothing would prepare us all like the news we all got in 2005.  

From Yolanda, "Keagan was at the hospital with me when mom was brought into the ER with breathing problems.   I remember him being worried about Mema thinking that she was going to have to get a shot (which in his little mind was the one horrible thing that happened at a doctors visit)."

It was then that they discovered the progressive tumor behind her larynx, and we all learned about adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare and devastating cancer.  Mom had surgery to remove the tumor. 

Mom called Tyler, Laura and the boys to read them one more good night story before she lost her voice.   It meant so much to us and we all cried together and the last thing that mom said before hanging up was that it's all going to be ok, it's up to God now.

Yolanda said, "After moms surgery, Keagan really wanted to see his Mema.   I was worried because it was a hard thing for me to see, much less a little kid, but he was insistent, so he went with me.   He did so well and mom was so glad to see him.   The radiation and feeding tubes, and moms inability to speak was hard, but good years followed."   Mom made so much good out of something ugly.   During that time Laura felt God tell her that He was going to give mom a new wineskin (basically a new way to do ministry), and He did!

In 2006,  Grandma Clark passed away leaving a large hole in the Clark family.   Also in August of that year, Tyler and Laura had their third child, another boy,  Micah Lee (named after mom's middle name).  Shortly after, Mom and Dad came to Japan to visit and made such an impact on people there, dad sharing from the pulpit and mom sharing her heart with people.  

In 2007,  Yolanda and Jeff moved to West Virgina after Jeff received a new job opportunity they couldn’t pass up.   It was difficult for mom and Keagan and were both a bit heartbroken at the separation.   Keagan desperately missed his grandparents, especially those first few years, but he loved it when Mema and Papa would come out to visit or when they would come back to Colorado to visit. 

In 2008,  Tyler, Laura, Caleb, Jonah and Micah moved back to Colorado and Mom and dad were thrilled.   Although they may have overwhelmed them at first as their house was all of a sudden filled with a loud family! 

In 2011, Tyler and Laura had their fourth, and last child, another boy,  Aaron.   Mom was thrilled at all the boys in her life!   Each one had a special place in her heart.

Mom loved to go to the mountains and just "get away" from the city.   She would sit in the camper and read and enjoy the views while dad would go out and fish, many times taking the grandkids with them.   There were so many other memories we have of mom, but the most important ones remain in our hearts.  

Memories from Yolanda

Not sure that I have any “stories” per se…but I have some favorite memories and moments that I will share.  

One of my earliest memories that I associate with mom is when we lived in Kansas and we had long row of purple iris planted alongside the house.  I have no idea if mom planted them, or if they were just there, but I remember mom loved them, and so did I.  To this day I still plant purple iris at every house where I live...the smell reminds me of warmth, sun, and easy summer days.

Some of my other favorite memories are of her playing piano on Sunday mornings…of coming home from church on Sundays and the whole house smelling divine because she had put a roast in the oven before church…of the yeasty smell of her homemade bread raising in the kitchen under tea towels.  Of Christmas Eve’s spent eating ham delights. 

I remember mom working hard to sew curtains for the puppet stage for our church puppet ministry, mom working hard to decorate the church for holidays, her hard work at DU.  She never shied away from working hard and doing her best. 

When Jeff and I bought our first house, it was a fixer upper in the worst way.   The woman we bought the house from was Asian and had cooked on a wok-which had left a residue on the kitchen walls that we couldn’t scrub off no matter how much we tried.  Mom came over and helped us paint the cabinets and wallpaper the kitchen- and she did it after working a full week!  In fact, in our next house she came over and helped me wallpaper it as well.

Then there are the trips…the summers spent at Buena Vista when we were young.   The trips to Hawaii where our whole family played in the sand and walked along the ocean…drinking coffee in the morning while watching the sunrise.  The Alaskan cruise…where we were able to spoil mom (and dad) a little bit and take them on a cruise-  Mom and I flying in a float plane to an island off shore in order to hike in and watch the bears catch salmon.  The trip to Yellowstone where we all piled in to a cabin and enjoyed some time together. 

Her great love for her grandchildren-  Mema still has a special connection to Keagan.  She is a good mom, but an even more awesome grandma!

I remember sitting with her in the emergency room when the young attending doctor told her that he thought she might have cancer, and that she needed to go see a specialist, then going through the first surgery for biopsy.  I remember being with her and dad when the surgeon told her that he would need to remove her vocal cords, and that she would need a permanent stoma followed by radiation.  I remember helping her after her first major surgery- being there to help her bathe and get ready to face the next scary steps of treatment.  I remember taking her to some of her radiation treatment’s, and sitting in the waiting area while she went through the treatment.   The sickness, the tiredness, the grief of it all.  But mostly what I remember is that she showed (and is still showing) an amazing amount of courage and strength through the whole process.  

Anyone who knows mom understands that her core values revolve around her love for God and her love for her family.   She is beautiful (inside and out), generous, hard-working, loyal, smart, courageous and a wee bit stubborn.

Memories from Tyler

Some of the earliest memories I have of my mom mostly revolve around her loving on me.   My mom’s smile has always been so beautiful because it lights up a room.  She also had a glare that could penetrate a brick wall!  I remember one time during church I was being a little noisy and immediately I felt like could only be described as lasers on me, it was my mom glaring at me from the other side of the church. 

My mom has always been good at giving advice.  Now we all know that moms will offer advice and give it even if we haven’t asked for it, but my mom would make it seem like she is agreeing with me and talking me through something without being too intrusive.   It really is an art!

Almost every summer, we would go on a family vacation. Although we didn’t have a lot of money, it was important to my mom that we would be lavished on during this vacation time.  I really never thought about how much they would sacrifice to do these trips.  Sometimes sacrificing her sanity traveling thousands of miles in a car with Dad driving,  Mom in front Yolanda and I in the back and many times Grandma Clark in the center! 

I remember graduating from Denver University and she said how proud she was of me, like any mom would, but then saying it to me again so I would understand she meant it. I remember the pain I saw her in when her mom (Amy) passed away.   I remember how worried she was when dad had his heart attack.  I also remember how joyful she was at the birth of each of my children (Caleb, Jonah, Micah and Aaron). 

I remember the grief we all felt when we got the news, while we were living in Japan, that mom had cancer and would have a radical procedure that would take her voice away.  As sad as I was, I was hopeful that things would be ok. I was not ok with it.  I knew she understood that as she advised me not to return to the US.  I remember mom calling the night before her surgery and reading a bedtime story to Caleb and Jonah one last time with her sweet voice. 

I also remember how my mom overcame that adversity of cancer and came to Japan to visit us!  I remember how amazing and safe I felt to be near my mom again and the flood of emotions upon seeing her.  My mom’s testimony meant so much to the Japanese people we were ministering with in Nagasaki and in fact, a family came to know the Lord because of her tenacity and faith in the Lord. 

If Yolanda is a daddy’s girl, I am certainly a mama’s boy!  I have gleaned so much from my mom and feel like I have that same tenacious spirit in everything I do.   I hate to give up!  I strive to do my best!  I love the Lord!  I love people!  I love my family!  I love my mom!

Today: 

Dad remains retired and lives in Lochbuie, CO.   He loves to fish as well as hang out with his grandkids! He loved mom so much.  They were best friends.   One amazing thing about our mom and dad, they never let us see them argue.   It didn’t mean they didn’t, but they were able to work things out and gave a great example of what a marriage should be like!

Yolanda and Jeff live in Columbus, OH.  Jeff works for an insurance company as the Executive VP and Yolanda raises funds for Make a Wish. They are actively involved in their church and cell groups.

Keagan joined the Air Force in 2017 and Married his High School sweetheart Hanna and are stationed at Dover, DE.

Tyler and Laura live in Lochbuie, CO and Pastor Brighton Outreach Ministries.   Tyler also works for the City/County of Denver and Laura is a Kindergarten Teacher. 

Caleb is a sophomore at Front range studying computer programming as well as working for Amazon.   Jonah is a Junior at Brighton High School.   Micah is an eighth grader at Vikan Middle School and Aaron is a 3rd grader at Lochbuie Elementary school.  

Her legacy lives on in her children and her grandchildren and the lives they have lived and they serve God.

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