Friday, September 18, 2009

We Are Working on Eulogies Today

heavily-carved beech treeImage by Benimoto via Flickr

I have two minutes. I do my best:

Henrietta Matilda Landrith was born in Frankenmuth, Michigan in 1911. She died in Winter Haven, Florida, in 2009. She spoke only German until she was eight years old. Once she learned English, she made up for lost time.

She was a missionary for eight years, and paraphrasing the poet, we think that she might say, “Open my chest and you will find carved into my heart a single word, and that word is Africa.”

She was the wife of Loren Joseph Landrith for 51 years. At my father’s funeral, my mother asked me if I thought there will be sex in heaven. That is a profound question, and one I would not attempt to answer. But I can say this. Today once more my mother-in-law will lie beside her husband.

Henrietta Landrith is survived by daughters Mary Iaquinta of Venice; Edith Landrith-Robertson of Oakland, California; Esther Hardesty of Winter Haven; Lois Landrith of Weaverville, North Carolina; sons-in-law Sam Iaquinta and Michael Robertson; granddaughters Deborah Iaquinta of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Michelle Iaquinta of Austin, Texas, and Shirah Hartfield of Plano, Texas; great grandsons Elijah, Isaiah and Noah Hartfield. And her name is carved into all their hearts, as it is into those of so many in this room.

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