by Christopher Harbin

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Funeral Service (2 of 13)
Series: Funeral Resources
Chris Harbin
Philippians 3:12; Revelation 21:3-4

Wilton Smith Parr, Jr.

I did not know Wilton on the same level as many of you knew him. From all accounts, however, Wilton was a very special individual. To some he was father, to others grandfather, husband, uncle, father-in-law, colleague, or friend. To God, he is a beloved child.

My memories and contact with Wilton were mainly in the confines of one hospital room or another. His soft-spoken demeanor could fill a room, even without his speaking.

In Wilton's latter days, a medicine patch was causing various hallucinations. I heard stories of trains scaling the walls, people hiding behind closet doors, and watched Wilton searching for cats hiding under the covers. Laura told me of Wilton riding horseback as he held her hand from the hospital bed. After the medication issues were resolved, however, Wilton laughed at his own experience. He did not take himself too seriously, but lived in the confidence that life was to be relished, even amid the ills of cancer, the effects of therapy, and the side-effects of medication.

Wilton exuded peace and confidence whenever and wherever I saw him. He seemed to recognize that family and friends were more important than the material things of this world. He treated them with a quality of care and attention. Wilton enjoyed people and treated them with gentleness, warmth, and a welcoming smile. When I walked into the hospital room to minister to Wilton, I often felt as though I were the one being ministered to. In Wilton's journey through life, he kept focus on eternal values, investing his life in the lives of others.

A poem Mary wanted me to read speaks to this sense of living beyond the concerns of this world:

Life is but a stopping place,

A pause in what's to be,

A resting place along the road

To sweet eternity.

We all have different journeys,

Different paths alo ...

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