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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Father Wrote This About My Mom

Elzoria Jeanette Studer was born on February 17, 1941 in a small Arkansas community called Collegeville, about half way between Little Rock and Benton. Tradition has it that was named Elzoria by an Indiana woman. No one knows the meaning or origin of such a strange name. Obviously, she always went by Jeanette. (Many years later she was surprised to learn that the name on her birth certificate was actually Elzara Janette.)

Jeanettes father, Clyde Studer, was never well to do and Jeanette grew up poor but happy in the Collegeville community. She knew and was known by folks for miles around. Jeanette, an only child, her mother, Louise, and father lived on five acres of land. As Jeanette grew her father added a bedroom on the house just for her.

I first met Jeanette when she was 15. I was in Bible College with a preacher, Cornelius Vuurens, who invited me to a revival meeting he was holding at the Collegeville Baptist Church. When I walked into the small church building I was immediately attracted to a pretty blond haired girl. I dont remember anything about the sermon but I remember how pretty I thought she was. Jeanette was with three other girls and I found out that the pastor of the church, L. J. Horton, had picked them up and brought them to church. I dont remember how I did it, but I managed to take the girls home that night. Taking the other girls home took me over about five miles of gravel roads. Then Jeanette lived at the end of a half mile dirt road.

Needless to say, I was back at the Collegeville church the following Sunday. One of the deacons, Bill Lequieu, (a distant cousin of Jeanette) and his wife, Elsie, invited me home for Sunday dinner. To my surprise and delight they had also invited Jeanette. And so began a wonderful courtship. I spent every Sunday afternoon with her, and as time went on I spent more and more of my evenings at her house. I can recall many pleasant evenings, sitting on her front porch, listening to the whippoorwills and being enthralled with the stories told by her father of strange happenings in this past. I lived ten miles away in Little Rock and soon could have made the trip to her house blindfolded.

I do not remember asking Jeanette to marry me. In time it was just something we took for granted. A little over a year after I fist saw her, on June 8th, 1957, we were married (in Bill and Elsie Lequieus house) by Pastor Wesley McNeill. She was only 16 and I was 19. Both of our mothers had to sign for us. I had just finished my second year at the Missionary Baptist Seminary and Institute in Little rock and she had finished the 10th grade. I was working as a lawn-mower repairman in little Rock and was the week-end pastor of the Independence Baptist Church in Pleasant Plains, about 100 miles north from our house. Looking back, had it not been for my parents who gave us a house to live in and some financial help, I dont see how we would have ever survived. But, at the time we were too young and in love to know the difference.

Our experiences at our first church, the Independence Baptist Church, were good. It was a small rural church that was established back in 1842. It was what was called a half-time church, meaning they had Sunday school every Sunday but only had preaching every other Sunday. We had not been there long until they decided to have full-time preaching and we drove up every Sunday. We would either drive up early Sunday morning in time for Sunday school or we would dive up on Saturday, do some visitation and spend the night with some of the people, like Brother and Sister Johnny Rhew or Aunt Evie Goad. (I remember washing the car one day at Aunt Eves. Jeanette came out of the house barefooted and for some reason hit me with a fly swatter. I in turn threw a bucket of soapy water on her.) Sunday afternoon we would go home with some of the good people for dinner and then be back at church for the evening service. Afterward we would drive the 100 miles back home and be ready for school early the next morning. The people were so patient with me and so good to us.

After a year or so Jeanettes father gave us an acre of his land. For some reason, Bill and Elsie Lequieu went to the bank and co-signed on a loan for us. With Jeanettes fathers help, we began building a 24x36 home (thats 864 sq. ft.). It was beautiful, we loved it and were so happy. We moved in our new home with Jeanettes parents on one side of us and her grandmother and uncle on the other.

By this time I was working part time in my fathers welding shop making $50 a week. I became pastor of a brand new church, the United Baptist Church, near Benton and only a few miles from our house. Jeanette graduated High School and got two years of Bible school training where I was attending. While she was there she took piano lessons from Lory Poynor and later from Wanda Sue Hamilton. Jeanette became a good pianist, played for church and even taught beginner piano later.

Our experiences at United were also good. Being a new church we got the experience of being in a building program for a church auditorium and later for the Sunday school room addition. My parents and Jeanettes mother joined. We had folks saved and baptized. (I remember baptizing Norman Bryant in a pond). The church grew and we were happy. We were there for about three years.

In early 1961, my last semester in school, one of my classmates told me he was going to a place called Indianapolis and invited me to go along. Jeanette and I went with him and found a small church meeting in a small converted house. They had been without a pastor for several months and things really didnt look that good. But, while we were there, God laid the church and Indianapolis on my heart. The church later called me as pastor and I accepted.

Looking back it now seems rather foolish. We were living in our own home next to Jeanettes parents, pasturing a growing church where people loved us and I was working with my father. (I dont think I mentioned that the church in Indianapolis was paying $20.00 a week.) We sold our house to Jeanettes uncle, paid off our debts, gave away everything we couldnt get in a 4x8 U-haul trailer, hooked the trailer behind a 1959 VW bug and headed for Indianapolis. And so began a new era in our lives.
Jeanette has always been obedient to my calling and didnt complain about the move to Indianapolis, even though she was very homesick. I didnt say she didnt express her opinion, I said she didnt complain.

We arrived in Indianapolis and I assumed my role as pastor on the third Sunday in June in 1961. Jeanette was 20 and I was 23 (although I looked about 19). We had enough money left after selling our house and paying all of our bills to make a down payment on a 12 foot wide mobile home. After arriving in Indianapolis we learned that I had been endorsed as an interstate missionary of the American Baptist Association of Churches and would receive $100 a week salary! What a blessing. I received that income for the next five years at which time the church was large enough to assume my support.

Upon arrival, our church pretty much consisted of Herb and Anne Wingate and their three sons, Bill and Barbara Sims and their two children, Marion and Raymond Cruise and their daughter and Fayrene Wolford, who was waiting to be baptized when I arrived.

After getting settled, our first project was to renovate the little house at 636 North Luett Street to make it look a little more like a church.

With no children, Jeanette and I were almost inseparable. Where you saw one, you usually saw the other. She worked at my side as we worked on the little church house. I remember renting a cement mixer and the two of us mixing cement and pouring sidewalks.

With her at my side, and with the help of the other members, we knocked on every door in our neighborhood. We struggled and struggled to break the 25 mark in Sunday School. Finally, after two years, we began to grow and by 1964 we had filled the little church. Just at the right time an old church building became available on East Raymond Street, across town from where we were meeting. We bought a brick church building, a two story, four bedroom parsonage on one-half acre of land on a major east-west street for $35,000.

We gave away the equity in our mobile home just to get out from under it and moved into the parsonage. We moved in the parsonage, that is, after we had redone all of the insides. The house was built in 1922 and was beautiful outside. But inside it had never had a facelift. What a gloomy mess it was. Jeanette and I, with some of the members, steamed off the old wallpaper, sometime four or five layers, from the walls and ceilings. Bill Sims hung new wallpaper for us and Red Wilson put a fresh coat of varnish on all the woodwork. We refinished the floors and did the best we could with the old kitchen cabinets. The only thing in the whole house that we didnt re-do was the brick on the fireplace. And, that was usually the thing people bragged on when they came in.

Of course there was lots of clean up and painting that had to be done on the church building. What had been an full house in our little building was now only a handful in our new building. But what a blessing it was. We had ten wonderful years (1964-1974) in that building. God blessed, souls were saved and we grew. One Sunday (I cant remember the date) we pulled out all of the stops and had 540 in Sunday School. Our building wouldnt hold that many so we had to move all of the kids over to the Boys Club building that day. We never broke that record.

In January of 1966 God blessed Jeanette and I with a son but it was an extremely hard birth on Jeanette. The doctor was not on the ball and Allen Ray was born unexpected and breach. The doctor began cutting, trying to get Allen out, with no anesthetic or spinal block for Jeanette. It was a very traumatic for her. She told me later that she could hear herself screaming like she was listening to someone else. The trauma of Allens birth stayed with her the rest of her life.

The cord was wrapped around Allens neck and in attempting to get him out, the doctor broke his arm. Allen had not moved a lot during the pregnancy and he had a flat spot on his head where he had laid during the pregnancy. But, worst of all, he had severe clubbed feet. We were fortunate to get a good orthopaedic doctor. Allen began his life in casts on both legs and kept them for several years. Along with the casts were a series of operations on his feet, the last one when he was 18. Considering how he began, Allens feet are remarkably good.

We had some great times in that old building on Raymond Street. At one time we were running five busses and bringing children in by the bus load. We cleared out the old basement and made classrooms to accommodate the kids. We even put indoor restrooms in the building. (Thats right, when we moved in, the church only had outdoor toilets that were in the end of the garage at the parsonage.) Jeanette was a bus captain, played the piano and organ and taught a Sunday school class. She helped the ladies organize an active Ladies Auxiliary. Souls were saved and baptized, often outdoors, and the church grew. There is no way that I could name all of the people that came into our lives in the old building.

To back up a little, soon after we came to Indianapolis we bought our first church bus. In the summer of 1962 we loaded up some kids and Jeanette and I took them over to Chautauqua, near Miamisburg, Ohio, and was in the first Eastern Baptist Youth Camp. Over the next 30 years we took hundreds of kids to summer youth camp. Some were saved and some made decisions that changed their lives. From the time Allen was born, he didnt miss a youth camp in 25 years.

All good things must come to an end and the City of Indianapolis brought an end to the old church building. Raymond Street, a major east-west artery in Indianapolis, was widened to four lane, which came about the middle of the old building. The city offered us a ridiculous price and wanted us out immediately. We had no choice but to get an attorney and things dragged on and on. Before it was over four lanes of Raymond Street ran up to both sides of the building with a little detour around it. We even made the newspaper as the church in the middle of the road.

We were in a bind and had to build a building, quickly! We scoured the south-east side of town for land to build on. Nothing. We could not find a thing. Then, the land beside the old building became available. From then on things fell in place, well sort of. We wound up with three acres of ground a full block wide on Raymond street. We floated a $150,000 bond issue, got the plans drawn and went to work. Space will not permit me to go into even a few of the major problems we had. As a sample, our contractor went bankrupt with our building unfinished, a recession had hit and we were not able to sell all of our bonds, and, creditors were hounding us for the unpaid materials the contractor had used in our building.

The day finally came when we had to be out of the old building. We had held an auction and sold everything out of the old building we did not take with us. Like the stained glass windows, kitchen cabinets, light fixtures, etc. We moved out one day and the next day the building was gone!

We moved into the new building on the first Sunday in November 1974. There were no windows and no ceiling in the building. We had plastic over the holes and two propane heaters that sounded like jet airplanes. We were still not warm. We put a piece of plywood on some concrete blocks for the pulpit and our old pews were on bare cold concrete floors. I have no idea how the people stood it that fist winter.

Of course we were meeting in an unfinished building. The building inspector came by one day and threatened to put me in jail if we had church in the building again. I told him to be there at 10 oclock Sunday morning, because we would be there. Well, he didnt show up, and, as a matter of fact, I never did see him or any other building inspector after that.

The next couple of years were spent trying to finish the building. Our people worked night after night. Very slowly it took shape. I thank God for such faithful people. It took years but we finally had a beautiful new building.

There are many fond memories of the new building and again I would not even attempt to list the people that came into our lives, most of them for the good. We had a few rocky times in the new building. People were sometime upset over one thing or another and decided to move on. Jeanette always handled these rough times better emotionally than I did.

In the 1970 a man named Vern Vaughan came by the office and said that Berean Baptist Church in Greenwood had begun a Bible printing ministry. He said that if we would buy a ton of paper, they would print New Testaments on the paper and give them back to us. I really didnt believe him, so we tried it. Sure enough we got the New Testaments. And so began our Bible distribution ministry at Landmark. Carl Tabor felt led to head up this ministry and since then Landmark has gone down to the print shop every week to help collate, bind, trim and pack tens of thousands, of New Testaments.

Somewhere in this time period, Jeanette began to work outside our home. She went to work for Market research company called Herron Associates. It wasnt long until she was running the Washington Square mall office. Then, she moved back to the office and ran the field department. The owner fired Jeanette because she thought Jeanette was going with some other truth but I think she was ready to be off work for awhile, so it really didnt matter.

When she was ready to go back to work she went to Public School 114 and was a teachers helper working with handicapped children. After a few years she became a chapter 1 teacher, helping students one-on-one. She enjoyed her time at the school and mad some dear friends.

Jeanettes father died of a sudden heart attack in 1970 at age 62. Jeanettes mother, later dubbed Granny by Allen, came to spend the summers with us. Then one day she sold her house in Arkansas and moved in with us for good. She lived with us for 23 years, until she died at age 89. Granny was always easy to get along with and never gave us any problem. She was always good to help with the housekeeping and cooking.

God had been dealing with me for several years about working with Macedonian Missionary Service. On one hand I did not feel free to leave the church but on the other hand I wanted to work with Macedonian. I was in a quandary for a long time. Then in February of 1992, 30 years and nine months after we came to Landmark, it was clear what I must do. I talked it over with Jeanette and, of course, she supported me in my decision. That was another major turning point in our lives. We had to move out of the parsonage that we lived in and loved for 28 years. What wonderful memories I have of that house.

Jeanette agreed to stay home and work while I went on deputation. (Deputation is a missionary visiting churches, explaining what God has called him to do and trusting that God will lead them to support him financially. All of the men who work with Macedonian are considered missionaries and have had to do deputation and raise their own financial support.) We moved in a house next door to the parsonage and Allen and Paula moved in with us. We did a lot of work on the house so Allen and Paula would have a couple of rooms in the basement. Then I hit the road. Over the next two years I would be gone for two weeks and then come home for a week or so. I did not keep a running tally, but I must have been in around 100 churches in those two years.

My mother, Beatrice, passed away that June. School was out for the summer and Jeanette and her little dog, Midget, went with me to the funeral and then on out into Missouri and Kansas. We ended up in Wichita and were able to visit with our friends, Bennie and Fredia Clark, who had moved back to Wichita from Indianapolis. It was such a pleasant trip and we enjoyed being together.

Churches and pastors have been so good to us. Every place we went the churches took up an offering for us, which gave us money for gas and food and a few repairs. I was pleasantly surprised at the churches who took us on for support and most have been faithful to this very day.

In the process of time we made three trips to Florida to find a house. Jeanette was with me once and I made two trips by myself. We looked and looked and looked but couldnt find anything we liked that we could afford. It was frustrating. On my last trip I had spent most of the day looking and didnt find a thing. I stopped on the side of the road and had a prayer meeting. I told the Lord that we needed a house if we were going to move down. Within 15 minutes I drove past a beautiful lot with trees on it. (Jeanettes one requirement was that our house should have some trees in the yard.) My cousins, Dolores and Larry Fisher, had built their own house and told us that we could do the same. But, that was the last thing I wanted to do. I called Jeanette and described the lot to her and asked what she thought about building a house. She said I would have to make the decision. I went to the realtor and made an offer on the lot. It was accepted and so began another major step in our lives.

Jeanette and I picked a floor plan we liked out of a book and ordered the plans. We scraped together all the money we could and borrowed all we could and started building a house. After we got the foundation and slab in, two men from Sheridan, Arkansas, Kenneth Dixon and _______, made a trip down, spent a week and framed the house. When we started the house people seemed to come out of the woodwork to help us. People we had never seen before. A plumber, Estel Elmore, bought all of the plumbing for us wholesale and supplied his labor for free. Tom Braddock brought a crew over one day and put the decking on the roof. There must have been a couple of dozen people who helped us on our house. My brother, Richard, came over every day for months and helped us. I wish I had time to tell you how God always supplied what we needed exactly when we needed it. It was almost miraculous.

While we were building we ate and showered at the Macedonian building and slept in our little travel trailer. Later we slept at Paul and Dixie Nicelys, who at that time lived behind the Macedonian Property. This was a hard time on both of us. We were both tired and the need to get the house finished played on our nerves. On Christmas day, it must have been 1993, one of the sweet ladies from Westwood Baptist Church, Eva Mitchner, invited us over for dinner. On the way Jeanette mad the statement that she wished we would hurry up and get the house finished. For some reason it him wrong and I told her in no uncertain terms that I was doing the best I could to get it finished. Well, things got very quiet. I dont think we spoke to each other until the next day.

Finally the house was finished! We picked the floor plan we liked and really had no idea what it was going to look like inside. It was beautiful. Right after I had resigned the church Leon Jasper had told Jeanette that God would not take something away from you without giving you something better in its place. That was true and we were so thankful to God and all the people who made it possible for us to have such a nice house.

As soon as we moved in Granny, who had been living with Allen and Paula in Indianapolis, came down. Things settled down and I was finally able to work full time at Macedonian, just six miles from our home. Jeanette kept house and did the yard work. Granny usually either read or worked on one of her quilts. Things were so good that it was almost perfect.

Jeanette loved the yard. She planted flowers and bushes and trees. She spent many days working on the grass. We sodded a small part right in front of the house. As it grew she would cut off the runners and plant them in other parts of the yard. As the grass grew, she was the one who kept it cut. She always enjoyed going around the yard looking at all the plants and remembering where we got them.

Then one day Granny fell in the house. We never left her alone and we both happened to be at home at the time. She landed on her face and her glasses cut a gash in her face. We immediately called the ambulance and they took her to the hospital. The fall addled her and for awhile she was not in her right mind. The doctor talked to us and told us that we would not be able to care for Granny at home. He said we might make it for two or three days but that would be all. Jeanette hated it so bad but we all knew it had to be. Jeanette visited her every day. But, Granny didnt understand and always begged to go home. She would tell Jeanette that Jeanette didnt love her or she would take her home. This was traumatic on Jeanette.

Along about this time Jeanette began to have lower back pain and began to drag her left foot a little. We thought it was a pinched nerve in her back, so we went to a chiropractor. He was no help at all. It became difficult for Jeanette to walk from the parking lot to Grannys room at the nursing home. So, off to the neurologist. He had four MRIs done of the back and head. Nothing showed up. He recommended we go to Shans (the University of Florida medical center in Gainsesville). Our appointment was so far away that we decided to go to the Florida Spine Institute in Clearwater, Florida. The neurologist there did a myleogram, spinal tap, and several nerve conduction test. Everything was normal. Then a series of blood work-ups. Nothing there. The doctors had ruled out Parkinsons, MS or a brain Tumor. Then to a rheumatologist to see if it was Lupus. It was not.

Granny passed away in March of 1997.

Jeanette was slowly getting worse and by this time was using a wheelchair. Then to Shans in Gainesville. The learned doctor there spent an hour examining Jeanette and going over all of her MRIs and tests. He said there was nothing wrong with her nerves. He said it was probably a psychological condition brought on by stress and recommended we go back to the first neurologist and get some nerve medicine. We did and he purt her on Prozac. A couple of weeks into Prozac and her hands began shaking. So, off Prozac but the shaking continued.

Somewhere along here Jeanette developed a frozen left shoulder. She could only lift her arm a few inches from her side. The rheumatologist did the shots in it and she had physical therapy but nothing helped much. Later she developed a frozen right shoulder. More shots and therapy but no improvement.

By this time Jeanette was pretty much wheelchair bound and could not roll over, sit up, stand or walk without help. In June of 1997 we made a few trips and spent a few days at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. We saw four doctors, had lots of blood work-ups, another EMG, another MRI of the head, and some x-rays. Nothing showed up in any of it. Their conclusion was, because nothing medical showed up, her condition must be psychological. So, she saw their psychiatrist who place her on some medication and recommended we see a psychologist closer to home. We saw two psychologists and neither could find anything that would cause her medical problems.

Our next stop was at the University of Miami. The doctor spent an hour with us going over all the records and examining Jeanette. He even called in a world renown movement disorder specialist. Neither could find a thing. The doctor said he was trained to tell the difference between a medical problem and a psychological one. He said in Jeanettes case he just couldnt tell. Since Jeanette had some Parkinson like symptoms, he placed her on some Parkinson medication. It did nothing.

Jeanette developed a burning pain in her lower back, across her buttocks and down the back of her legs to her knees. The pain specialist said it was neuropathic pain and that narcotic medicines would not touch it. Jeanette was on morphine for awhile but it didnt help. She was placed on three medications that dulled the pain a little but never too it away. Jeanette was in pain 24 hours a day. The only temporary relief she could get was to rub it down with ice.

It is now early 1998. We heard of a doctor in Acapulco, Mexico, that dealt in unusual cases. We made arrangements and flew down. We saw some remarkable things while we were there for over two weeks, but, as hard as he tried, he was unable to help Jeanette any at all. He finally came to the conclusion that her condition was psychological and that she should come home and see a psychiatrist who could put her on some medication. Within a week after coming back we saw a psychiatrist who put her on medication and suggested we see a psychologist. Another psychologist spent several weeks with her and could not locate anything that could be causing such a drastic problem. We went to a hypnotherapist who hypnotized her but couldnt find any unresolved psychological problems.

Getting Jeanette in and out of the car got to be almost impossible. Jim and Ina Clark gave us a beautiful 1991 Astro van. We had a wheelchair lift installed in it and we were off again. We could roll Jeanettes wheelchair on the lift and have her in the van, strapped down and on our way in a matter of minutes. She was mobile again. We went out to eat, went to yard sales (which she dearly loved), shopped at Wal-Mart, and, most important of all, got back to church. In the eight months we had the van Jeanette did not miss a single Sunday school and Sunday morning service.

Jeanette was in physical therapy again for may weeks, hoping to regain some strength. In the long run the therapy did little. While we were in therapy we met a neuro-psychologist who agreed to give Jeanette a series of psychological test and see if he could locate any problems. The tests showed nothing out of the ordinary and several sessions did not reveal any psychological problems.

During this time Jeanette was on 26 different prescription medications, saw 21 doctors, four chiropractors, a Chinese acupuncturist, two psychiatrists, four psychologists and a hypnotherapist. All along Jeanette was getting slowly worse. The last several months she was unable to feed herself. The chewing became more difficult. She was unable to stick her tongue out or to clean food out of her jaw. Her speech became more and more difficult to understand. There was a marked difference in her chewing and speech the last three or four days of her life.

This two and a half years was the worst time we had during our marriage. It was a real nightmare, almost unreal, like you expect to wake up and it would all be gone. But, while it was the worst time, it was also one of the best times of our marriage. We became closer than we had every been. Closer than I imagine 99% of married couples are. We were very best friends and would often just lay on the bed and talk. It was such a special time.

Through all of this Jeanette never lost hope. We were in the process of making a video to send to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to see if they would try to find her problem. Her physical therapist, Lee Scruggs, was going to help us and take Jeanette through the range of motion and show her condition on tape. The morning of the day she died we had and appointment with Lee to make the video. One minute and 10 seconds into the video and the battery played out! We also had an appointment that morning with the neuro-psychologist, Dr. Tim Worden. Instead, he had made arrangements with a doctor friend of his to spend some time with us. Dr. Oh spent an hour with us, listening patiently as we went through all of the background information and asking us questions. His conclusion was that he did not have a clue as to what was wrong with her. With all of the places we had been, the doctors we had seen and the tests we had done, Dr. Oh did not have any solid suggestions on what to do next. He thought our planned trip to Mayo might be good. We then spent a few minutes with Dr. Worden, the neuro-psychologist.

We left and decided to go to McDonalds for some fish sandwiches and fries. We sat in the parking lot and ate and fed the sea gulls. It was a pleasant time. Then we went to Wal-Mart and looked around but didnt buy anything. As we usually did on Friday after the psychologist appointment, we bought groceries. Although Jeanettes body failed to obey her, her mind remained sharp. In the supermarket I would push Jeanette with one hand and pull the basket with the other. But, Jeanette bought the groceries. She told me what to buy. I just put it in the basket. Jeanette usually knew where everything was in the house. If I couldnt find something I would ask her and she would tell me where it was. She knew what was in the refrigerator, although she seldom saw inside it. She planned the meals. She gave instructions on how to clean the house and what to do in the yard.

After buying groceries we arrived back home around 2 oclock. I brought her in and put her on the bed. She had a schedule of TV programs that she enjoyed watching every day and at two there was nothing. So, I put in a VCR tape that we had recorded earlier for her to watch. I put up the groceries and went in and laid down beside her on the bed and took a nap. I must have slept for almost an hour. When I woke up I turned the recorder off and put the TV on the channel where Oprah would come on. I went to the computer and worked for awhile. I put the article on the Kosovo refugees, that had been in The Macedonian Call, on our website. I must have worked around an hour. I thought about the dead battery in my camcorder and went to put it on the charger, which was in our bedroom.

When I went into the bedroom I noticed she was laying there with her mouth open. She normally made a little noise when she was asleep but she was not making it. When I tried to wake her I quickly realized she wasnt breathing. A feeling of panic came over me. I called 911 and the lady instructed me to put Jeanette on the floor and do CPR. I had never been trained to do CPR so the lady guided me step by step. I suppose it was only a matter of minutes before the paramedics arrived. They ran me out of the room as they worked on her. Shortly on of them came in and told me Jeanette was gone. I couldnt believe it. I asked them to let me go back in for just a minute. I knelt beside her on the floor and cried and talked to her and gave her a kiss.

The paramedics were wonderful. They called her doctor and asked if he would sign the death certificate. He said because he had not diagnosed a life threatening condition he could not sign it. The paramedics than had to call the Sheriff. It wasnt long before a female Sheriff arrived. She was also wonderful. She called Disney and finally contacted our son, Allen. She also called my brother, Richard, who was living with us but was in Orlando. Richard called Harold Williams, one of the men I work with at Macedonian, and he came in just a few minutes. Richard, Allen and Paula, our daughter-in-law all arrived, before the crime scene people. The crime scene investigator asked Allen how he got there from Disney so quickly. It was about a 45 minute drive one way. We were all asked to leave the house as the officer, also a lady, did her investigation.

Just about dark they finished whatever it was they were doing and the people from the funeral home arrived. All of us went over to Harolds house while they took her away.

The next morning, Saturday, the medical examiner performed an autopsy on Jeanette. I was told it was more extensive than usual but the medical examiner was not able to determine the cause of her death. Since then the toxicology report has come back, but there was nothing significant about it. When I last talked to the medical examiner he told me he could not find any physical reason for her death.

Jeanettes funeral was held at First Missionary Baptist Church in Auburndale. Jeanette looked so pretty. Our Pastor, Gary Woodring, flew down from Anderson, Indiana, to be with us. We didnt want Jeanettes memorial service to be a morbid thing. We wanted it to be a celebration of her life, and I think it was. I had no idea if I could or not but I felt compelled to say a few words. I cried a little but I made it through it. I enjoyed the rest of the service. Three Sweet ladies that Jeanette loved to hear sing, sang tow songs. David Gurgel, pastor at First Missionary, that Jeanette also loved, did her obituary. Pastor Woodring preached and did a great job. We closed the service singing Victory in Jesus.

So Jeanettes life on this earth came to an end on April 16, 1999, 58 years and two months after her birth. I havent lost her, I know exactly where she is. Would I have her back in the condition she was in? In a heartbeat. Would I bring her back if it were in my power? Absolutely not.

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