Behold, thou art fair, my Beloved. Song of Solomon 1:16
Our dad has seen the great I Am from the highest peaks, the lowest draw, the most unforgiving prairie, the darkest waters, in the silence of a granddaughter who speaks, but not with words, in the languish of a sickbed, and the borders of the grave. In awe, in tears, in anguish of soul the joys and sorrows have been many.
But “You are my portion in the land of the living”, his heart would never betray the one he trusted in. Much Mercy was given, much Mercy was extended.
As an only child of Sidney and Gertrude Martin, he grew up on the prairies of South Dakota, a family of homesteaders near Sturgis, on Alkali Creek. His father taught him the value of the land, the sacredness of life in the natural order. Living simply with self-sufficiency, the land yielded to their needs. Nothing was wasted. While family being away during WWII, as a boy, he lived with his grandmother on the homestead. A Shetland pony was his transportation to the schoolhouse a mile away! In inclement weather, he and the small horse had the privilege of a car ride home, his pony in the back seat! Family serving at nearby Fort Meade taught him the great appreciation of horses. He would later prove that he could spot a Trifecta!
On a train ride with “Orders of Induction into the Armed Forces of the United States” his eye caught sight of the prettiest Irish lass he had ever seen! He said she was all he could think about while serving his time in the Army. They were married in 1959 and Mom worked to put Dad through undergraduate school, where he earned a Batchelor of Science in Fish and Wildlife Management in 1963. He would go on to complete his Master’s degree with the help of his wife. Mom was presented with the most fabulous Certificate of Award for her efforts! She would soon learn how to prepare every manner of dead animal; big game, upland game birds, waterfowl, fish of all kinds, but most importantly, she learned how to sleep with a man who wore his ticks to bed!!
To you, our Papa, grandfather, great grandfather, husband, and friend, we celebrate your return to the One who created you, that we, your family and friends might know you even better. So very grateful, we won’t forget what your life has taught us.
We see you in the words of the Psalmist:
1 Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
2 Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn will be lifted high in honor.
10 The wicked will see and be vexed,
they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing