Memorial Service for Our Friend Alice

Saturday Afternoon, August 20

1 (1)There were yellow roses on the windows of Line Lexington Mennonite Church in her honor.

She loved yellow.

1 (2)There were songs and memories in her honor – some things that we knew about her and other things that we did not know – especially about her days as a young mother.

Cerwin and I were asked to share a few memories. The following are a few of mine.

2 (1)We learned to know Alice and Sam in the late 80s – then when Cerwin and Sam began serving together with TFC in 1990, we learned to know them much better.

These are a few pictures I took of them in the past 26 years.

2 (2)Because we served together in TFC, we did a lot of ministry travel together especially between 1990 and 2006 when the men were Northeast Region Directors.

One of my favorite memories of traveling with them was our vacation to Nova Scotia.

Alice did not enjoy trips that much – especially the travel part – but always supported Sam in everything he did with TFC.

2 (3)I enjoyed hearing experiences from their growing up days and when their young family lived in Minnesota.

Alice loved to read and was always up-to-date on politics. She had great insight into people – especially those who should not be trusted. 🙂

3She did not enjoy being in front of people, but was quite creative in knitting, sewing, and crocheting. She often made small welcome gifts for the staff and guests and placed them in the motel rooms when we went on TFC retreats.

4I took this picture in April when Cerwin and I visited them because she was not doing well. It’s the last picture I have of her.

I was honored to be her friend.

1 (2)Following the memorial service we were invited to the church pavilion to enjoy food and fellowship.

1 (3)

1 (5)Katie, a granddaughter taking a picture of me. Notice she is wearing a yellow scarf. Many of the family members wore yellow.

1 (4)

1 (9)One of Sam and Alice’s great-granddaughters walking in adult shoes got my attention.

1 (8)

1 (10)Balance is a bit difficult when your shoes are too big.

1 (11)Hanging onto a tree helps.

1 (6)Alice Rittenhouse – April 1, 1928 to August 4, 2016.

Her favorite song:

Eastern Gate by Isaiah G. Martin

  1. I will meet you in the morning,
    Just inside the Eastern Gate;
    Then be ready, faithful pilgrim,
    Lest with you it be too late.
    • Refrain:
      I will meet you, I will meet you
      Just inside the Eastern Gate over there;
      I will meet you, I will meet you,
      I will meet you in the morning over there.
  2. If you hasten off to glory,
    Linger near the Eastern Gate,
    For I’m coming in the morning;
    So you’ll not have long to wait.
  3. Keep your lamps all trimmed and burning;
    For the Bridegroom watch and wait;
    He’ll be with us at the meeting
    Just inside the Eastern Gate.
  4. Oh, the joys of that glad meeting
    With the saints who for us wait!
    What a blessed, happy meeting
    Just inside the Eastern Gate!

Visiting Mother High

Sunday Evening, January 11

DSC_4725A neat little bridge we go through on our way home from Roy and Deb’s.

DSC_4729Traveling through Lancaster.

We decided to go by Landis Homes to visit Cerwin’s mother.

DSC_4733Just before turning off of Route 272, I took a picture of this place of business – which was a farm house back in the ’40s and where Cerwin’s family lived when he was a preschooler. Prior to housing a business, it was a restaurant.

He and our friend Don Hollinger like to talk about Cerwin’s first day of school – when Don was responsible to help him get on and off the bus.

DSC_4734Cerwin said we will have to ask his mom a few questions about this place.

DSC_4737Their memories of the “Landis Valley” house:

  • It was where they lived when their Down syndrome daughter, Thelma, died from pneumonia. She was not quite two years old.
  • Cerwin’s brother, Elvin, was born when they lived here.
  • Cerwin said this was the old Route 222. One of his memories is when the road crew was concreting the road. He loved watching the big equipment, and remembers playing with his little red wagon on the porch and pretending that he was an earth mover.
  • A favorite story from this house is when Cerwin and his sister Velda heard that their dad was going to town, and decided to hide in the back seat, then jump up and ask for ice cream. That didn’t work too well. 🙂 They got punished instead. Plus, Mother was frantic at not knowing where they were. (There weren’t cell phones in those days.)
  • After reading this, Miriam (a cousin) messaged me to say, “This is also the house where they had whooping cough.” She remembers, because her family was visiting when Cerwin’s dad brought the children home from the doctor and said they have whooping cough.” Miriam’s family left immediately and stopped at the doctor for shots. (Thanks for that memory, Miriam.) Cerwin forgot about that.
  • Cousin Resie asked if this is where they lived when her dad helped on the farm. Mother said, yes it was. Amos (a younger brother of Mother’s) was single and offered to help during the time of Thelma’s death. He was there for a longer period of time – as their hired man when Daddy had surgery for appendicitis.
  • Our friend Don Hollinger relayed another memory from 1948. His dad bought a new Pontiac. Cerwin’s dad was so impressed with it that he also bought one.

DSC_4742I read a journal of the past two months from Jon (her grandson) and Jen from Minnesota. They have four young children and have some cute stories to tell.

Jen sends the journal to me by email and I read it to Mother since she cannot see well enough to read.

Mother is doing fairly well, but seems to be gradually losing strength, and uses oxygen at night and when she needs it during the day. Some days are better than others.

Keep her in your prayers.