Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dale's Tribute

Dale Rowell
December 12, 1948-May 4, 1988

Written and delivered at the funeral
by Dale Frank May 7, 1988

I'm going to miss Dale Rowell. Very few people have come into my life who so completely modeled what a Christian man should be. For 15 years I watched this man live out his commitment to Jesus Christ and he never missed a beat.

It seems we have far too few men like Dale. His priorities were set in stone. And he didn't have to tell me what they were. Year after year he consistently demonstrated those priorities.

His number one priority was to please his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. There was never any doubt about it. Dale loved the Scriptures and loved to be involved in the Lord's Word.

In 1987 Dale made a commitment to read through the Bible in one year. And he did it. I knew he'd do it. When he set his mind to something, it got done. I can remember how pleased he was about that. For years Dale consistently memorized God's Word and encouraged others to do the same through the Bible Memory Association. He and Brenda coordinated that effort in our church. It was just one of dozens of jobs Dale took on at the church.

No glory, no fanfare, not a lot of commotion;
Just a good job--well done.

To me Dale was one of the best Sunday School teachers in the church. Tomorrow when I come to church and go downstairs, I'm really going to miss seeing him there. Sunday after Sunday he would be moving briskly through the hall with an armful of material that he had carefully prepared for his 4th and 5th grade classes. The thing that made Dale special was that he really loved the children. He thought about his class during the week also. Sunday afternoon might find him playing soccer with them. He might call or drop a card to a youngster who had been absent.

Once again, not a lot of fanfare,
Just a good job--well done.

Running a close second was his commitment to his family. There was never any doubt about it. Dale's love for Brenda and the boys was so incredibly obvious.

What a thrill it was for Dale to save and plan to take Brenda and Andy and Brad on a 3-week vacation through the West. And he made sure they didn't miss a thing. I can still hear him enthusiastically tell of all the interesting experiences they'd had as he showed me the pictures.

He was also ready for a great season as one of Andy's baseball coaches. A couple of Sunday's ago he was talking about the team and I told him it was probably just good coaching. He laughed and said, "Nah!" I can still hear his enthusiasm as he looked forward to spending that time with Andy. He took every opportunity he could to be with the boys. Last Christmas the call went out for volunteers to help build the set for the Christmas play. I knew Dale would be there. You could count on it. But he didn't come alone. There, right next to him, was Brad. They had their tools in hand and were ready for work. It was one more way Dale could spend time with Brad and at the same time perhaps teach him another skill. By the end of the evening Brad was easily handling the electric drill and driving screws into the lumber.

My memories of Dale and Brenda in the newly married Sunday School class 15 years ago was one of a couple really in love with each other. And the last time I saw them together it was just the same.

Not a lot of fanfare, not a lot of commotion.
Just a good job--well done.

His third priority was his friends. It would take hours for me to recount the ways Dale and Brenda helped others. Dale knew how to do so many things and he loved hard work. Many times his friends were the beneficiaries of those skills and that hard work.

Well, I could go on and on about Dale. He was quite a guy. Yes, I'm, going to miss him. But my loss is heavens' gain. I can just see him now with that wonderful smile on his face and with that great enthusiasm he's probably asking God--

"What needs to be done around here?"

Not a lot of commotion. Not a lot of fanfare.
Just a good job--well done.

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" Matthew 25:21 & 23

1 comment:

The Thompson Times said...

Brenda and guys... What a great inside look into Dale's life and what was central in his life - his Savior, the Lord Jesus and his wife and sons, plus his many friends. Sad that his life here on earth was cut short but what spiritual truths were instilled in your young sons which have carried them on to become the men and servants of God which they are today! Of course I understand fully that parenting involves both a father and a mother and so, Brenda, you were a BIG part (maybe bigger inasmuch as you had to be both their father and their mother after he left you so suddenly.
And now God has given you Bob who has walked alongside of you and so I'm sure you feel doubly blessed. God is truly good -- all the time! Love, Betty (and Bill) Thompson