Ann Tedrow’s tribute at the service

May 14, 2009


"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

 Proverbs 3:5-6

I am Ann Tedrow, Dad’s Daughter. I would like to say a few words about our great Dad and what he meant to me.

The good thing is that much of what I share with you about my experience knowing my Father, you could also say if you knew him as your Pastor, Grandpa, Uncle or Friend. I know that you all miss him already like us.

It’s hard to describe the impact of Dad’s life. We have already started hearing from people from far off and unexpected places. We will be hearing of Dad’s influence for years to come, I believe. It is exciting to hear these stories.

We all have our special memories. I felt that Dad treated me Special because I was his daughter.

As children we enjoyed our life. Since Fred, Dennis and I were 4 years apart, we each had a different yet similar experience with our Parents. It wasn’t all Church Stuff. For example, I fished with Dad and so did my Brothers. But I was A Girl so he helped me untangle fishing lines. He’d eventually have to take off on his own or he would never catch fish. My Friend Karen reminded me that we only went most of the time because we were promised ice cream after the fishing.

The whole Family played Racquetball. Dad could beat Fred and Steve until he was in his 60’s (Dad that is).

I’ll try to share with you a few of my personal memories.

Most of my earliest memories had something to do with the church. I remember practicing to sing as a family and that my parents had a hard time getting us Kids to stop pestering each other and buckle down to practice. We sang “So Let the Sunshine In” and “Let’s Go to Church.” I also remember being very nervous about singing in public.

At an early age, Dad starting letting me listen while he prepared tapes for his radio show on KTUR. He knew he could get me out of bed early in the morning if he offered to take me Out for Breakfast, usually at Latif’s. He had huge stacks of poetry books, which at one point lined his office about 2 ft. up. (The office was not small.) He tried to teach me how to read poems aloud and have me speak on the show. I was Not Good at this. But I sure enjoyed those breakfasts!
This seems to be a theme. One of my first jobs was at Honeycomb Bakery, working for The Fosters and Clausens. They helped me learn to give change. Dad frequented the place. He loved walking over there from the office for a coffee break. Once he experimented – if he ate a Danish a day for 5 days he gained 5 pounds a week. So, he cut back to plain cake donuts.

Of course Dad was instrumental in guiding me on my spiritual journey. He helped me squelch my fears. I wasn’t nearly as comfortable singing or speaking in public as he was.

When I was around 11-12 years, I started having nightmare that The Rapture would happen and everyone in my Family would disappear. My plan was to run to Sheryl Wings house next door – then, I got to thinking that her family would be gone too. Kathleen wanted to get baptized in Water. This brought on a serious case of “I haven’t prayed the Sinner’s Prayer.” I didn’t think I’d get to Heaven if I didn’t say that prayer for myself. One evening I couldn’t stop crying and Mom promised that Dad would talk with me when he got home. Dad knelt with me beside the bed. I felt so much relief!

When I misbehaved I got reprimanded. Once or twice I was Called Out during a Sunday evening service when chattering and giggling with Girlfriends or eating pickles and green olives in church. I got chased all through Holgar and Elsie’s house for my last spanking – and sent to my room until I apologized for acting like the Spoiled Brat, Know-it-all Teenager, I was.

Dad helped me in my search for my place in adult life. After high school and a little college, he sent me off to Youth With A Mission (YWAM) School of Evangelism in Switzerland, then Bethany College, then commercial college.

I worked a smattering of jobs in between. We probably “locked heads” the most when I tried to work for him, assembling packets and at the church office. Never got away from The Job. BUT, I met Steve at the church office – right here.

Steve and I are among all those couples Dad married. We have seen some lists but do not know exactly how many marriage ceremonies, Baby Dedications, Funerals or sermons performed by Dad over the 70 years he was a licensed minister.

I loved bringing my philosophical questions to Dad. I loved having “talks with Dad.” He could listen to all kinds of ideas, all kinds of possibilities. We could count on Dad to bring us back to Trust in the Lord and to God’s great love for us before the conversation ended.

He used one scripture for me many times: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3

We always felt better after being with Dad, no matter what we talked about. This continued over the years, when we would meet with Dad and Barbara for lunch or just for a talk. (Dad and I loved calling each other while I waited for connecting flights working in Washington. It kept me in touch with the Family and Dad always let me know he loved me.)

You know, Dad didn’t like the words, “No” or “Can’t” when it came to projects that promoted the cause of Christ. He almost never dwelled on the negative.

He was always on to the next project. He would learn from the past but he refused to dwell on it. He was Optimistic, excited about the Future. He lived this way right to the last days of his life.

He believed that God would see us through whatever obstacle came our way. He believed WE could accomplish Big things. He could wear us out trying to keep up with his ideas and plans. We didn’t want to curb his enthusiasm, but sometimes he scared us! Bold, impatient, purpose-driven. Think about the great effort of getting the New Life packets out to prisons and churches around the world that he and Barbara worked on every day for many years. He set an example. He helped us see that we can accomplish more. He believed we would keep The Faith and that we would be Believers as he was.

Since Dad rarely looked back, the family was very honored by the gift he gave us on his 90th Birthday. On his 90th birthday when we were trying to give him gifts, he gave us a book of his life’s story. This was a very big deal, not only to have some family history, but also because Dad took on this project when his health was failing. He would sit at the computer, using Voice Activated software so he could speak his story. Then he would, edit text using MS Word. How about that for a man in his 90’s! I would brag about Dad to my Friends at work that he typed faster than us and probably thinks faster.

Dad’s last project was planning this service.

Dad, Pastor, Friend. will be so missed for the ever encouraging word and the sharing of Faith with us over and over again. To his last day.

Dad was a man full of life, always busy. But he was careful to remind us to Trust in the Lord to guide us through life.

We know he loved us.

We will miss him very much but are so thankful for the life he shared with us and for the incredible gift of Faith.

We miss him so much, but I know he wants us to carry on the Faith and be strong in it.