Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The passing of an honorable man

"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." -- Isaiah 55:12-13

It is a tribute to Dick Dudley that the chapel at Reynolds-Hamrick Funeral Home in Waynesboro was overflowing today with friends and family who were there to honor him. The chapel filled up, a side room filled, and overflow was standing at the back of the chapel and in the hallway.

Such was this gentleman ... rich in friends ... rich in family ... rich in his love of God and country.

As the pastor spoke, he recalled all that was Dick Dudley ... his passion for planning down to the nth detail, his expectation of a day's work for a day's pay, his never expecting something out of others that he himself would not do; his love of hunting and the outdoors and UVA and his wife and children. Some stories made one weep ... others made one laugh.

Those attending joined in singing "How Great Thou Art," a song that made me think of my grandmother's funeral many years ago when I was a teenager ... the awesomeness of that beautiful song.

A gentleman who was there who had worked Republican HQs with me in the past asked how I knew Mr. Dudley, and I told about how he would come into HQs or be at some event, and how he emailed jokes and political info. He was nice and he was funny, and it was a long time before I even realized he was Mrs. Betty Landes' brother and Del. Steve Landes' uncle.

Two things really stuck with me as I left after the funeral. One was the verse at the beginning of this post. The second was based on Proverbs 18:24 that speaks of the love of Christ: "... there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

If there is such a thing, it was a beautiful day for a funeral. Mr. Dudley was buried this afternoon at Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton.

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