|Three (now four) of my friends left us
this week, Tom Justice, Blanche Whytsell, Rev. Glendon McKee and now
These four friends have several things in common.
1. None of them feared death. All were Christians.
2. All of them were friends and teachers of children
3. All of them loved Calhoun County.
Tom Justice will be remembered by many teens and their
parents through the years that he was youth leader at First Baptist
Church. He was a Christian and good role model showing patience,
cheerfulness and understanding. His love for his family overflowed to
those who were around him. I never heard him make a negative comment
about any person. I am glad that my children had his influence in their
lives. Ever faithful to his Lord in the last days, he could still have a
positive outlook on life.
Blanche Whytsell was a most hospitable person. The
times I have been to her house, or seen her at other gatherings, she was
always concerned about her guests and making sure they were well fed,
knew the other people, and felt a true part of her family. Through the
years of knowing her daughter, Peggy, and having her granddaughter, Dei,
in class, I have seen her influence on the children of the county
through 4-H, Extension Homemakers, and just loving them.
Rev. Glendon McKee was teaching when I first came to
Calhoun County. He was dignified in his dress and manner, an example of
a true gentleman. Many Calhouners have a love of poetry and literature
because of selections that he read in class. I remember lines from a
poem, “The Bridge Builder,” that he read at a funeral. It was about a
common bridge builder that taught his trade and beliefs to those who
followed behind him. By doing this, he made sure that his work would go
Georgia Stump has been my neighbor for 55 years. She
prepared dinner every night for her own extended family and also for the
friends that her grandchildren brought in to her home. She told me once
that her only regret was that she did not sleep out with the
neighborhood boys when they invited her! The Morris and Hupp children
were allowed much freedom in their childhood because they were allowed
to travel back and forth between Georgia’s house and the Morris house.
Of course, Geraldine was in the middle, so they were always under
someone’s eye, even if they did not realize it!
Tom, Blanche, Rev. McKee and Georgia have all left
their influence on the people of this county. They were common people
doing their own thing to help the next generation. They all commanded
respect, but gave unconditional love.
We will miss them, but are grateful that God allowed
them to touch our lives. Those of us who have felt their influence have
a challenge to fill their shoes with the children. We can thank them
each day by carrying on their dreams.