Friday, August 15, 2008

In Memoriam: Richard K. Smith

This week my family (both sides) traveled to Lake Tahoe to enjoy a huge family reunion. On both sides there were sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles who had not seen each other in years. It was so neat to spend the time with both my mom's side and dad's side of the family. One of the other purposes was to celebrate the 60th wedding anniversary of my grandparents (which took place on June 20).

On Monday night all of us got together on a dinner cruise and sailed around lake tahoe, drinking champagne and celebrating. We even had a cake for grama and grampa's anniversary!

On Tuesday we had a small gathering of just my mom's family with a "trip down 60 years of memory lane." It was an amazing and special time and we all cried with joy.

On Wednesday, tragedy struck, as it does - seemingly randomly, always at the worst time. While a number of us traveled to Reno for the day, my grandfather decided to stay and gamble at Tahoe casinos. Around noon, he had a heart attack and was later airlifted to Carson City. He survived long enough for all of us (except one cousin, who flew in as soon as he could - he was the only one missing from the trip) to be with him at various points through the 24 hours.

But around 1pm Thursday, his heart gave out. He was 83 years old, and loved to laugh and make jokes. He teased my granmother constantly, always trying to get her frustrated with him, but he loved her deeply. He was loved by all who knew him, and was fiercly loyal to his family and friends. He loved to gamble and it was grampa dick who taught us how to bet horses! He was a woodcarver who carved a number of carvings for his church, Faith Lutheran in East Wenatchee, Washington.

He was one of my favorite people in the world. Today my heart, and the hearts of my family are broken. But I also rejoice in knowing that our Lord is the author of every day, and every experience. I have felt God's presence in this time, and saw his mercy in many of the experiences of the week.

Grampa is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joy, two daughters and two son-in-laws who he loved like sons. The daughters gifted him with two grandsons and a granddaughter, and two great-grandchildren. He will be deeply missed.


fblife said...

praying for you guys, so sad to hear this news. We love you!

The Penners- Joel, Emily, and Ella said...

our prayers and sympathies are with you... love you. Em