Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Goodbye Grandpa!

Raymond Otto Hume
August 27, 1923-July 6, 2008

Sunday at 11:25 am, an absolutely amazing angel of a man died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by his surviving children and his three oldest grandchildren and their loving spouses.

Raymond Otto Hume came to Portland, Oregon in 1942, from Oklahoma when he was just 18, and soon after met the love of his life, Grace Annabel Proudfoot. They married 5 months later and remained married until his death. Their romantic love story stirred dreams in the hearts of their children and grandchildren, especially me. My grandpa literally lived and breathed for my grandma, and she for him. I have never witnessed such a beautiful, passionate love in my entire life and probably never will. To keep the flames of passion alive for 66 years is such an amazing accomplishment, it truly overwhelms me.

To the rest of the family, grandpa was just a sweet, gentle giant, loving us in his quiet, faithful, devoted way. He was steady and sure, as dependable as the sun rising in the morning. Only grandma knew his true heart, his gentle sarcasm and humor, his dreams and hopes. She truly held his heart.

I was his first granddaughter and he cherished me so much, taking me on many grandpa/granddaughter dates. He called me little nicknames, like "Pal", and "Half-pint". I knew without a doubt that he loved me completely, and in return I loved him with all my heart. Not only was he my grandpa, he also had to be my daddy, since my daddy had abandoned me as a baby. He was such an amazing presence in my life.

One important contributor to his incredible strength of character and all-encompassing love was his faith in Jesus Christ. He had a quiet faith, but it was so evident how his faith informed his actions, thoughts, and words. Every moment his faith shined through, whether in the kindness he demonstrated to loved ones and strangers alike, or in the volunteer work that he did through the church, such as being part of a group of men that volunteered at Camp Arawanna, a local Baptist camp, where they did any fix-it or handyman work that needed to be done to for the upkeep of the camp. He was also a deacon in his church.

Besides the legacy of love he demonstrated, he also retired from 2 illustrious careers, one as a US Marshall and one as a Security Guard at the Port of Portland. After his first retirement he went on to work for 10 more years until he retired for good from his second career.

We are especially proud of him for one notable historical event which was marked by his presence. Our wonderful grandpa was part of the history of the civil rights movement. He was one of the group of federal marshals who, in 1962, under the orders of President John F. Kennedy, escorted James Meredith, the first African American student to attend the University of Mississippi. Riots ensued, which led to two deaths and dozens of injuries. Live footage from this event even appears in the movie, “Forrest Gump”, although not specifically of my grandpa!

He served in 2 wars, WWII and the Korean War. This photo was taken of him in 1951, during the Korean War when he was stationed in South Korea.

Besides all his other fantastic qualities he was very handsome. Although I’m sure he wasn’t even aware of it, since he was also very humble.
We will all miss him very much, and every day we will be thankful that he helped us become the people we are today. (good qualities only of course!)


Marilyn said...

I am so sorry to hear that! You seem to be handling it very well! He sounds like a wonderful man, it is nice to know he is with Jesus now!

Chrispea said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful write up you did for him. It sounds like he lead a beautiful life, one to be proud of. {{{hugs}}}

saffiertje said...

My condolances to you and your family. it's good to have such great memories to your grandpa..
Mine died about 12 years ago, way to early! He was special, because in his last days, he found Jesus in his life and died peacefully..
I aslo was his first grandchild..Maybe it's why those grandpa's are special to us...

Stacy said...

I'm so sorry about your grandpa. What sweet words you had for him.

KJ-Starre said...

***BIG hugs*** for you Christina!

I am so sorry for your loss....I know he is proud of you today as he watches from Jesus' side...you are the product of his influence. A sweet, thoughtful, loving, creative person who loves Jesus & respects her 'family'.
I will think of you lots today!

Anonymous said...

Steina - hey - it's just perfect the way it is! Leave a few "snippets" for Ray to share tomorrow. And I will let him be touched with the newness of your words when he hears them coming directly from you. Beautiful, darlin'!

xoxo Faleesh

Rachel said...

What a beautiful tribute. Sorry to hear about your loss.

What a special guardian angel you and your family will have.


Tana said...

This is beautiful Christina!!! What an amazing Man whom is now completely whole and healed living with his Savior!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Miss Christina!!

I miss you. You don't email any more. Sorry to hear about your grandfather. You wrote such a special contribute to him. Wow!! So sorry that life has been tough.
Please Lets get together soon.

Heres a big hug!!
Annie Ferguson