WALTER, THEODORE (TED) ROBERT: September 20, 1928 – June 15, 2012 Ted went to be with his Lord; he passed away peacefully on June15, 2012. Ted is survived by his wife of 61 years, Arlene, by his four children, Michael (Lynn), Philip, Tony (Dianne) and Celena (Darryn) as well as by nine grandchildren, April (Todd), Cara, Christine (Scott), Jo-Ann (Scott), Daniel (Jess), Nathan, Ross, Chad and Shane, and by ten great grandchildren, Tricia-Lynn, James, Jordan, Zach, Emily, Nick, Beth, Anna-Dawn, Andrew and Owen. Ted will be buried at Peachland cemetery on the morning of Friday, June 22nd, 2012 followed by a Celebration Service at Grace Mennonite Church at 74 Penticton Avenue, in Penticton at 12:30 PM. Arrangements in care of Everden Rust Funeral Services
You May have known him as principal, pastor or teacher; sea-going cowboy, potato farmer or carpenter; baritone singer in a men’s quartet, star baseball pitcher or captain of the basketball team; devoted Missionary, MCC Volunteer or Great Grandpa; friend, Uncle or Brother; Father-in-law, Dad or Husband…
but I knew him as Grandpa.
And no matter what we all called him, I’m sure we all would describe him in somewhat the same way… he was very kind, generous and one of the most gentle men you could ever meet. As Scott Young stated, “he was the pillar of this family.” He was strong and dependable, like one of those magnificint old trees that have faithfully beared much fruit over its many years. With roots that go down deep, so that it is not easily moved or shaken. Providing cool shade and shelter for many in times of unbearable weather or in need of rest. And offering nurishment and strength to any who looked poor or hungry, or took the time to wait for its harvest. Jeremiah 17:7-8 describes my Grandpa well…It says, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
I would also describe Grandpa as patient and calm… unlesssss he was laughing at a joke…usually his own…because then you’d get to see the silly side come out & Grandpa LOVED to laugh and tell stories. My Dad told us of the time he had gotten caught skipping school AGAIN…while sneaking off to visit his beautiful girlfriend (my Mom). But Grandpa never lost his cool with him (…at least not in my mind). He calmly & quietly went outside and proceeded to remove all of the wheels off of Dad’s car & hide them!!
I imagine Grandpa was always on time for everything but never in a hurry. (Well Dad, that’s partially like you…never in a hurry)! He chose his words very carefully…to the point where you almost wanted to hurry him up & finish his sentences, but you KNEW his wisdom was worth the wait. Jo said it well, “Grandpa either spoke wit or wisdom.” My Grade 8, ex-army, Social Studies teacher didn’t have a chance of NOT becoming a pacifist that year after Grandpa’s teachings took root in me. Maybe that is why I asked Grandpa to stand up with me at 13 when I asked to be baptized. Or why most of us grandkids remember the farm as one of our favorite childhood memories.
I’ll never forget the time Grandma & Jo-Anne, Grandpa & Daniel, and Celena & I took the 3 canoes out across Gregoire Lake with plans to make it to the little island a few km out. Well,… Gregoire Lk was known for its sudden weather changes and our beautiful afternoon was soon changing into quite the storm. The wind and waves picked up and soon we could see Grandma and Grandpa’s canoes turning back. I later found out that Jo and Daniel never made it much past the beach, as Grandma and Grandpa kept paddling in circles. But because I had had some recent experience white water canoeing & considered myself somewhat of a “professional canoer,” and since Celena was crazy enough to believe that, we decided to forge on. We finally made it to the island, feeling very proud of ourselves & took our much needed break. Now I’m not sure if the weather had in fact gotten worse, or if I was just remembering all the cool stories dad use to tell us of his adventures out on this island & wanting some adventure of our own. But, either way, we decided we would camp there for the night…alone, with no shelter from the wild mosquitoes and huge black horseflys. But we had found LOTS of berries, so we would be just fine!! Right…? Well, you can imagine our disappointment when Grandpa showed up with a rented motor boat to rescue us and take us back to the farm. I couldn’t tell then, (no one could), but when I asked Grandpa a couple of weeks ago how he felt about having to rent that motor boat & pick us up, he admitted that he had been mad. I figure if him took him 25 years to tell me that, he couldn’t have been too mad.
Grandpa taught us to work hard, enjoy the outdoors, seek peace at all cost and love much. He and Grandma dedicated their lives to serving others and to ALWAYS put others needs before their own. They were an amazing team. Without Grandma’s encouragement and willingness to follow Grandpa to extreme places all around the globe, many lives would be very different today. Grandma’s gift of hospitality allowed Grandpa’s gift of “finding and befriending all those in need,” to work; and work well together. They truely exemplified the verse in Mark that says, “they are no longer two but one flesh.”
Grandpa’s faith in the LORD was not so much spoken about, that I remember, as it was lived. He doesn’t know it, but he gave me the most beautiful gift last Christmas… We had all come here to Grace Church for the Christmas Eve service; which seems to have become a family tradition for us…Christmas eve at Grace & then onto Scott & Jo’s for appy’s. Anyways, I went over and sat beside Grandpa, as I saw him sitting all alone. There was lots of special music that night and I kept thinking about those delicious appy’s waiting for me back at Jo’s. Then, someone got up with their guitar & prepared to lead us all in some old old hymns. Well you can imagine my excitement at this point. And then I heard it… It was like an angel singing in my ear. This tiny, frail, aging man beside me was effortlessly belting out with such passion and conviction, the words to “The Old Rugged Cross.” ~~~ I don’t remember if I ever got my appy’s that night, but I’ll never forget that sweet sweet voice. Mom describes her last visit with Grandpa in much the same way.
Before I knew that Grandpa’s health had started failing, I had begun a book study with a few friends and it was taking us on a journey through our past and having us record any key people and monumental events that have helped shape us up to this point. Well you can probably all guess by now who was one of the people at the top of my list. Grandpa was that constant, steady influence & rock that I now recognize God put in my life (and probably many of yours as well) to help us better understand and know who Jesus really is and how deep His love for us really goes. Because of this, my time reading scripture to Grandpa in the hospital a couple of weeks ago was without a doubt, a treasure worth far more to me than words could ever describe. Isn’t that just like God? He knew!! Here I was, reading to Grandpa, from the very same book upon which he taught me from for so many years. I guess we’ve come full circle hey Grandpa. I will miss you but I know Jesus must have been so excited to see you again!! Love you Grandpa. Xoxoxo Christine Harder