For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
2 Corinthians 5:4
Greetings and comfort through Jesus Christ.
When you live to be 93 years old, it doesn’t matter what era it is, that’s quite an accomplishment.
But accomplishments seemed to be common for Anna.
Growing up in the Depression and World War II era, she didn’t seem to let that keep her down.
Vice-president of her class in high school, she also was an accomplished swimmer, as most of you well-know. For those who don’t know, Anna and her sister Rosemarie were the 1949 National Duet Champion. They performed several exhibitions including one in Bermuda in 1949.
Her competitive swimming days were over when she met Raymond. They welcomed two children into the family and loved every minute of it! Sadly, they were only married 15 years when Raymond died.
Anna was a single widow for six years, working as an administrative assistant at what would be all three of my son’s alma mater – Lake Zurich High School.
It was in 1973 that Anna joined the famed “G. Family” by marrying Orville.
The G. Family is a big deal here at St. Matthew Lutheran. This family was one of the founding families of our congregation and I walk by some of them every day, as I live in the Parsonage right here on campus.
Family was very important to Anna. The Meeks and G. family were blended together and all of the children went through St. Matthew Lutheran School.
Anna loved swimming, as I said before, but she also loved her family and she loved going to church.
This church, in fact, where she and Orville were married.
Yes, they moved to Wisconsin – in fact, not far from where we both served Lutheran parishes.
Worshipping God was important to Anna and that is no small thing.
The God who put the passion to swim, raise children, being a farmer’s wife, and a loving mother and grandmother is the same God that welcomed Anna home last week.
The one who walked on water welcomed Anna to swim and love and laugh, and live, forever in paradise last week.
Jesus paid the debt we all owe God for our sins through His shed blood on the cross. Jesus forgave all of Anna’s sins and forgives us as well!
Jesus Christ conquered death and the grave so that today we can gather in peace and joy – subdued though it may be – but joy nonetheless.
Joy that Anna is alive forevermore and there will be a happy reunion for all of us who continue in our faith in Jesus Christ – a faith that Anna made sure that so many of you learned of in the Lutheran church.
As we learn to live without Anna in this world, it is my prayer that you will never lose that hope and joy she had in Jesus Christ. I suspect that was Anna’s prayer for you for many years.
And like all prayers prayed in the name of Jesus, God will hear these prayers and answer them as well.
Let us pray right now.
Father, we thank you so much for the life of Anna. Today we celebrate all that she has given us and the legacy of her life on earth.
Thank you for what a good mother she has been. We remember how she has always supported her family through the difficult seasons and rejoiced with them in the good times.
Thank You for the ways in which Anna has given to our society. We think about what a kind neighbor Anna has been, and her love for community life. May her acts of service be a lasting light to us all.
We praise you Lord for the working life of Anna. We bring to mind some of her many achievements and thank you for the countless blessings that she leaves behind.
Finally Lord, we are so grateful that You saved Anna through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. We will always deeply treasure Anna in our hearts and give thanks for everything she has given us, which was a reflection of the love You have for all of us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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