How does one write about a friend that has left and gone home? Yes, they will be seen again. Not any time soon or in the same old places. They will be seen again and are not lost forever. That is what Springfield Christians believe when a friend dies.
Such a friend died Saturday. Verne has been a friend for almost forty years. The church will miss him because he was a doulos, a servant. Douloi are common at churches.
Verne was on the Transportation Committee for years. He and others kept the buses and vans serviced. When there was a mission trip that involved working on a church, a home or any other manual labor, you could count on him signing up to go. He was also there when the Greene County Baptist Association trailer needed to be moved into the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E-Plex.
He was retired from maintenance at Kraft Foods. Retirement did not mean he stopped working. He held a part time job and continued to work at church. Two weeks ago he was working security with his friends on the parking lot at Hamlin Memorial Baptist Church.
How will he be remembered? As a hard worker, not as a shirker. As a friend with a kind word and a story about his years at Kraft or in the military. As a loving husband and father who set a high standard for younger men to follow.
Verne is one of the douloi, the servants that Christ asked us to be. He repaired many vehicles. He painted many houses. He helped people move or clean their yards. Even in years when others had retired he was available for many jobs that needed to be done.
He is now home and will be missed by his family, friends and church. They will all see him again, when they, too, leave here and go home. See you later Verne.