He was a gentle giant; at almost 6’8” with a size 15 shoe, he filled the room with his presence, with his kindness and his love. He was husband, Daddy, Papa. He was brother, cousin, and uncle. He was friend, colleague, and co-worker. However, what defined him above everything else was his Savior. He loved Jesus. His faith was deep and strong and constant. Everything he was, and everything he did, flowed from that well of love and faith and dependence. Today we celebrate his third heaven-versary. Our hearts are still sad. The hole he left is deep, we miss him desperately, but we are choosing today to not mark his death but to celebrate his life and legacy with praise and thanksgiving to His Lord and Savior, to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

One of our daughters recently remarked that there is a tendency in death to ascribe sainthood to the loved one who died, and her daddy would not want that. She is right. Grief has taught me to celebrate all that he was, foibles and all, warts and sins not excluded. We can do that with joy because we know that he was saved by grace alone in Christ alone and is now in the presence of his Lord. So, we remember the ordinary extraordinariness of him.

He was tireless in dedication and devotion, never too busy to listen and never too occupied to help. He was a servant.

He was a gold-medal button-pusher! He knew just which of my buttons to push to get a reaction, and he took genuine pleasure in pushing them.

He loved his Sunday morning men’s prayer group and his Zebra Hot Chocolate (all the other men had coffee, but his cup was different).

He loved his country.

He could get on his high horse with little provocation and had strong opinions to go with that horse.

He loved Saturday morning breakfast dates and garage sales, especially if there were tools, especially if the tools included saws.

He had no patience with disrespect or lack of manners, and he was a gentleman to everyone he met.

He laughed at commercials, yelled at the television during football season, liked detective shows, action movies, and science fiction.

He snored and left mustache hairs in the bathroom sink.

He loved milk, cokes, Mexican food, hamburgers, and Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream. He was always going to start his diet “on Monday,” every week.

He loved Gospel music and hymns, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Alan Jackson.

He was silly with random, nonsensical proclamations that only made sense to him.

He read his Bible and My Utmost for His Highest every night; when he prayed, he never failed to thank God for Jesus, for salvation and for the weather.

He got mad and made me mad. But he never stayed mad and liked making up.

He was the only one who could ever see if the top of the refrigerator was dusty.

He LOVED being a Papa and would always agree to do anything if his grandchildren were involved. He felt humbled and  honored when he was able to baptize three of his grandchildren.

He was inordinately proud of his daughters and his sons-in-love and bragged on them shamelessly. He loved them for who they were, just as they were!

His children and his grandchildren were his greatest joy, and he was fiercely protective of them.

Reading the Christmas story always brought him to tears.

He cried with love and joy freely and without shame, and he gave the most wonderful hugs in the world.

He loved road trips and listening to suspense novels when we traveled.

He loved his wife, he loved his family, he loved Jesus.

Our list could go on for pages. Simply said, my husband showed us Jesus in how he lived and in how he died. He showed us His grace and His mercy; he showed us His provision and protection; he showed us His forgiveness; he showed us how to honor God’s holiness and His righteousness; he showed us unconditional love and acceptance; he showed us unselfish service and generous giving; he showed us faith and humility; he showed us brokenness and the source of all strength. He was far from perfect, but he showed us Jesus, and he showed us that in the end none of the little irritants really matter at all. He left us a legacy of love and faith that is continuing in the next generation and the generation beyond that.

And he is now part of the Great Cloud of Witnesses that waits for us on heaven’s shore.

Richard Olen Welch July 21, 1950 to February 24, 2019 Until the 12th of Never

Published by thistleplaid

Introductions are always awkward. What words can capture the essence of character and personality? And yet, we all long to know and be known, so let me introduce myself to you. I am an introverted "fun girl" who is passionate about Jesus, family and intimate friendships. I am a wife of 50 years, whose husband now resides in heaven (widow does not define me!). I am a mother of three daughters and three sons-in-love, a Gram to eight grandchildren, and a Great-Granny to one adorable baby girl. With Scottish ancestry, I love all things plaid, bagpipes and thistles. I love tea and books and rainy days; mountains, ocean waves, and sunshine' lavender, Golden Doodles, bagpipes and country music. Most importantly, I am the daughter of the King of Kings, on the journey of being conformed to His image and desperately in need of His mercies every day. My goal with this blog is to meet other women on this journey and encourage them to see and seek Encounters with Mercy and Glimpses of Glory that will challenge and nourish their souls.

5 thoughts on “Tribute

  1. liked reading this again. great picture. Wish he was not self-conscious of his teeth. Because you can see he is smiling in his heart.


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