By God’s providence, Penny and I were visiting family in Missouri this weekend when we received news that my Grandma Lottie had passed away. Grandma was unique in so many ways. One fact that made her special was that she was the widow of a World War I veteran. That’s not a misprint. Grandpa Street was a veteran of WWI, not WWII. Grandpa was 44 (I believe) and Grandma was 18 when they married. He died in the early 1980’s at the age of 90. Grandma had recently turned 97. Maybe there’s other WWI widows still alive somewhere, but I can’t believe there’s very many. Grandma Lottie lived a remarkable life. Grandpa lost his first wife, Jenny, in childbirth with their eighth child. Neither she nor the baby survived. So when Grandpa and Grandma married, Grandma Lottie became stepmom to seven children. They went on to have four more children, of whom my mother was the second. To care for 11 children is an overwhelming task. Grandma received an instant family at age 18. Only a very strong woman could have handled such responsibilities.

By anyone’s measure, Grandma Lottie was tough. I knew what it was like to get crossways with her. But she was also tender, caring, and loving. She was committed to her family with a fierce loyalty. As a child I often enjoyed staying overnight with Grandpa and her. No one could tell a scary-ghost story or make a huge breakfast for a house full of deer hunters quite like Grandma. She loved us, we loved her, and we miss her. Penny and I flew in to St. Louis on Friday, and on Saturday morning I was about to go visit Grandma when we got the call telling us that she had died during the night. I regret not getting to see her one last time. But I did have a wonderful visit with her when I was in Missouri earlier in the year. We talked, reminisced, and laughed. She expressed her faith in Christ and her readiness to meet Him. As I left, we prayed together. Her graveside service will be tomorrow, Monday, at 2 pm at the Patterson Cemetery. I’ll have the privilege of preaching the funeral message. She is now absent from the body; present with the Lord. Thank God for the promises of the Gospel.

Date of original post: 2014-10-05