Dad with his first car, 1952

Mom and Dad dating in college

Dad while a missionary in England

Fifty years ago last March

Our family has been very well attended to in our grief. Thank you for all the support and love. I spoke at the funeral and here are my notes.

As I was looking back through old photos this week, I came across a little column called Faith Profile where Dad was once featured when he was a Bishop in Minnesota. The feature was in a question and answer format, and when asked what his goal in life was Dad responded “To become a real Christian”. Many, many aspects of Dad’s life reflect this goal, and many people have benefited through his Christian living. Dad taught me that the gospel is inclusive and that there is room for everyone in the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the same article when asked what his faith means to him, he responded “ It explains the purpose of life and helps me to understand the ups and downs of existence” I am so grateful to have such wonderful parents who have taught me about faith so we have a source of comfort when confronted with hard times such as loosing Dad. His faith has taught me that he is not lost.

He was incredibly patient and saw so much potential and good in the people around him. I remember him very level-headed and slow to anger, even when his newly driving daughter crashed his beloved car. I am grateful he loved me more than the car, but he did love that car.

My little family and I are grateful for the time we have recently been able to spend with my parents. We are fortunate to have lived with my parent for the last year. I know Dad took great joy in his grandchildren. It has been so wonderful to see the special relationship Dad and my two year old developed this last year. They were great little friends and spent a lot of happy time together. It was very hard yesterday to see our toddler try to understand death since he told his grandpa to wake up at the funeral home last night, but our boy knows Papa has gone with Jesus. Dad really lit up around his grandchildren and they brought him great joy, especially in these last five years when he struggled with the effects of cancer. We are sad to not have Dad as a direct influence in our children’s lives, but his influence will be felt through his teachings and good example. My mom shares in this good example and we all are so grateful for the selfless service she gave to Dad to keep him comfortable and at home in his last days.

Dad also instilled in me a love and appreciation for classical music, which has come in handy since I married a classical musician. I know my dad appreciated hearing my husband practice in the house this past year. One of my father’s favorite operas was La Boheme, which explains why an excerpt from the opera is next on the program. Che gelida manina may not be the most typical funeral song, but Dad would be pleased. I know both of my sisters have memories of Dad listening to La Boheme and being very moved by the emotion of the piece. Soon after the surgery that took my Dad’s voice, I played a recording of Brian singing the following aria, which brought a big smile to my Dad’s face and tears to his eyes.

Posted by Picasa


  1. Erin said...
    Ann, this is so nice. Thank you.

    On a totally different note, I was unpacking boxes today and found a picture of you and Brian (along with a bunch of other people) at my apartment in the fall of 1993. It made me smile:)
    The Mothership said...
    Hi My name is Tyler Martinsen I was one of your Dad's missionaries in England. Thanks for sharing the posts about your dad. On my mission I developed a great love & respect for your Mom & Dad. Give your Mom our Love. Here is a link to my blog if she would like to see what one of her missionaries has been up to the last couple of years.

Post a Comment