One of the great things about living in different cities is building up a network of good friends.
And this is coming from a guy who at age 16 never really thought he’d leave Hamilton, Ala.
Last week Pam and I returned to Aberdeen, a place where we lived for eight years (1991-1999) for a funeral.
Wynene Jones passed away at age 82. Her husband Jeremiah was our minister there. He preceded her in death in 2003.
Pam and I were a young married couple, with our first child, when we moved to Aberdeen. And Jerry and Ms. Wynene were the first two people who welcomed us.
Their smiles were contagious. And we quickly learned of their love for each other, their love for God and the church, and their love for their community.
Since leaving Aberdeen, we’ve kept in touch – not just with the Jones family but many good friends there.
Thursday, on our ride there, Pam and I did a lot of reminiscing. I said, “You know, Aberdeen just has a portion of our hearts.”
And the largest part of the credit for that goes to Jerry and Ms. Wynene. Our love for them from day one grew to a love for the entire membership of the Aberdeen Church of Christ and the entire community.
The funeral service for Ms. Wynene was sad but at the same time uplifting.
The minister, Derrick Maranto, as his primary Bible reference, used Proverbs 31.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
“She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
“She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
“She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”
Jerry and Ms. Wynene were inseparable. When you thought of one, you thought of the other. There was no better example of a faith-based husband and wife.
And like the minister said in his closing prayer, “We rejoice that Jerry and Ms. Wynene have been reunited.”
We were invited to enjoy a meal with family members, church members and those from the community after the funeral.
Pam and I could not pass it up.
Again, it was one happy reunion during our mourning for the Jones family.
And that’s really the way Ms. Wynene would have wanted it. She spread happiness throughout the church and the community. Her life was one of service and putting others before herself.