Yesterday, the mail delivered the CDs of my father's memorial service from 18May, and it was an emotional experience to re-listen to the tributes we paid to him. The service was about an hour and fifteen minutes long, but I've trimmed it down to include only the personal remembrances.
First, Pastor Jim Henry spoke. Pastor Jim is the pastor-emeritus of First Baptist Orlando and past president of the Southern Baptist Convention. As you will hear, we didn't know until the very last minute that he would be able to attend, and it was a great honor that he was able to attend and participate. Pastor Jim is one of the hosts for the tour of Israel I'll be going on next month, and he was very tender toward me the day of Daddy's memorial; I know he'll take good care of us all while we're there in the Holy Land.
Second to speak was Del Wright, of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Del and Daddy had a very close and loving relationship; I am honored to think of him as Daddy's second son. During the two weeks leading up to Daddy's death, Del was a huge encouragement to me. He gave strong and kind support to us all, and his love and respect for Daddy shone through every word and action. He references an award that the local chapter of the FCA gives out, called the Harry H. Stuart Servant Leadership Award. It was created about 14 years ago, and I remember being completely delighted when I was told about it; Daddy, by God's grace, was very much that sort of man!
After Del spoke, we three kids had our say - first my older brother, then me, and finally my darling sister. It was hard for each one of us - I'm sure you'll be able to hear the stress in our voices - but it was such a blessing to be able to stand up and give strong testimony on behalf of Daddy. He was a wonderful man, and we will all miss him.
The other voice you'll hear is Pastor Don Burke, who was our pastor at Greenwich Baptist Church when I was growing up. My parents kept in very close contact with him after we moved from Connecticut to Orlando, and he has truly been a family pastor to us. I didn't include his homily from the service because he spoke more theologically about what it means when a Christian dies, and I wanted to post the tributes to Daddy. I might, at a later date, put up Pastor Don's remarks...
At any rate, this runs about 30-40 minutes I think, and I pray that it will be an encouragement to you.
(EDIT: For some reason, the embedded player that always worked for me is now... NOT. Here is a clickable/downloadable link.)
The picture below is Daddy's American Airlines pilot picture, probably taken about 30 years ago...
The picture above was taken during World War II - Daddy is standing on the left.