Reminiscences: a note

This precious note was in my father’s files:

JoAnne Howard had lost her husband just a few months before my mother died. JoAnne sang at my mother’s funeral, as she had at countless funerals before.

The funeral home paid her, of course, but JoAnne returned the money to my father with this note.

Jo’s family had been intertwined with ours from our first days in Lee’s Summit. Her youngest son, Greg, was my best friend growing up.

Flash forward: 18 months after Mom’s death, my father returned to the USA from Argentina on a terminal furlough.

And a few months later this lonely man was courting JoAnne Howard.

They were married — this widow and widower — in May 2000, barely nine months after my father began his final furlough, and just a week after he officially retired as a missionary.

That marriage lasted more than 17 years until his death last December.

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