Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Funeral, a Family, and a Legacy

My Great-Grandpa, Orville West, passed away recently.
 He was my grandma's father, and because he was sick a lot these past few years, I didn't see him often, therefore I didn't know him too well, personally. 
 But he will be missed by all of us, although we are all so glad he is finally home, away from pain, and no longer missing Grandma Betty, or 'Ma' as he called her.<3 
 My Grandpa Warnke had been very close to Grandpa Orville, after marrying into the family, and it was hard for him to say goodbye the last earthly 'father' he had on earth. 
 He loved 'Pa' very much, and it does hurt me to see him so lonely. 
But I know he is rejoicing to know that Grandpa Orville is in the arm's of our Savior. 
 We all are. 
Grandpa Orville was quite a man in his day. 
 I wish you could hear some of the stories that the West children pass around, laughing about 'Pa's antics as well as their own.  
 Nothing I can say will ever explain the musical talent he was gifted with. 
The way he played piano was unique and beautiful, filled with trills, his own little notes and chords, and he played completely by ear. 
 He could play practically anything, and he was the most gifted man I have ever known. 
That gift was passed on to his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren, and it's still going strong! <3
 When he passed away, it brought relatives from all corners of the nation here for his funeral, and I was so happy to see loved ones that I grew up with, but long since moved away. 
 The week was long, with plenty of late nights, but it was filled with singing, playing, and catching up with family. 
 Roger played guitar with Great-Uncle O'Neil, my cousin's husband, Jed, played his violin, while cousin 'Little' Darlene, Great-Aunt Darlene (or 'Big Darlene') and Great-Aunt Eunie sang along, bellowing out throughout the house beautiful songs of praise. 
 The harmony was absolutely amazing. <3 
Great-Great Uncle Marvin came from the Midwest to bid his brother goodbye till we meet again, and it was nice to see him, for I had always known of him through his Christmas letters but didn't remember him. 
 He was in WWII, you know, and was in the major Battle of the Bulge. 
He wears hearing aids because of the loud artillery he loaded, but when asked about the war, he avoids the subject. 
 'I can't really talk about it.' (may be misquoting a bit)  
When asked about the Bulge he says, yes, he was there, at the last, hard part of it, and it 'just went downhill from there'. 
 That's the most he's ever told us history buffs about it. 
My Great-Aunt and Uncle, Becka and Tim, drove all the way from down South, and it was so good to see them. 
 It was just a wonderfully sad weekend, with a lot of singing, some tears, and laughter. 
I just love gathering with family. 
 It warms my heart to see different generations together under the same roof, extending their hand's in God's peace and feeling His presence there in that crowded house. 
 Grandpa Orville had 280+ great-grandchildren! 
I am happy to say I am one them, and so blessed to have been born into such a large, wonderful family. 
 Grandpa Orville would have been so proud to know the legacy he left behind. 
The blessed songs of Zion, in each and every heart. 
 Rest in peace, Grandpa, until we meet again. 


  1. It was so nice to see everyone. I am sad we missed out on the singing night, but glad we got to hear a little!

  2. I enjoyed staying with you guys:)

  3. This was a really sweet post. <3 <3


  4. Beautifully put, Sister dear. Sometimes I think I'm not awesome enough to be a part of the West family -- I can't play anything and I can't sing harmony -- but I thank God I am anyway, and I get to hear all the beautiful hymns they sing! ;P

  5. LOVED!! I will miss him a lot! <333

  6. Love!
    SO thankful to be apart of that family!

  7. Oops! I replied to Felicity's comment instead of commenting myself!

    I just wanted to say that I found the song that was sung at Great Grandpa's funeral, "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be" in an Amish cookbook we own. I've been playing it a lot on the piano and thinking about the words.