Jan 4th – update

Yesterday was a glorious day, our celebration day of Jack’s arrival in Heaven. It started out sunshiney and cold, and we were very grateful for the “sunshiney” part. God seemed to bless us all day with His light, as if He, too, was smiling. We had a family service at the graveside in the morning. The grandchildren led this service, and it moved me when Grant, Kirk’s son, referred to “Poppy” as our family’s Abraham – a patriarch noted as a man of faith and the giver of spiritual heritage. We shared some stories, including a few from a long-time business partner and a representative of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. We all shed tears when, after the family sang “Amazing Grace” together, “Taps” was played by a solitary trumpter, followed by the folding of the United States flag (which covered the casket), and the presenting of it to Bonny by a military representative who thanked her on behalf of our country for the service Jack gave. I do not know how Bonny remained so gracious and poised; the rest of us were reaching for tissues. What a tribute! Our family holds it as a point of honor that Jack was a true war hero, serving in Patton’s 3rd Army as a forward observer in a Piper Cub.

After a wonderful lunch, served by Jack and Bonnie’s church, we celebrated with many friends and family in a precious memorial service. During the planning of the service, the family decided to try to do two things with the service. First and foremost, was to honor God. The second was to reveal how God had transformed Jack from a hard-driving workaholic into the man who had passions only for loving God, loving people, and showing everyone available how to “make the wonderful discovery of knowing Jesus Christ personally”. I think that both were accomplished. One of my favorite parts of the service occured when Poppy’s 14 grandchildren shared our favorite “Poppyisms” (the phrases that Poppy invented and used often). They ended with Carly, Joy’s daughter, sharing Poppy’s way of welcoming people into his home by exclaiming, “Come in this house!!” with arms thrown open to receive them. As Carly finished, she said, “We think that when we see Him next, that is exactly what he will be saying.” So true.

The service was preached by our son, Lance. He was eloquent, passionate, and transparent, as he proclaimed Poppy’s heart that people know Jesus. Kent and I have been proud of Lance many many times, but never any more so than yesterday. It makes a parent’s heart sing to see your child using the gifts that God has given him to honor God and to love people. He did both, with excellence, so we experienced an extra blessing yesterday.

The day ended for us with dinner with our friends, the “Empty Nesters”. We had not been able to all get together at Christmastime, so it was special.

God gave everyone in the family some very sweet and special moments in the hospital with Jack during the week that he was dying. Kent’s came on the last night of his life. Kent had not been allowed to visit in the hospital because of all the infections that Jack had. But on that night, he talked to his Dad by phone for quite a while. The visitors in the room took pictures of Jack while Kent was talking, and texted them to us later. They also told us that Jack’s oxygen and heart rate stats indicated that he got more and more relaxed as Kent talked. Who knows what happens when someone is unconscious? It was a sweet time.

By the way, Poppy wrote his “Memoirs” before Alzheimers took his mind, and you can download his little book at www.jacksmemoir.info.

Through all of this past month, Kent has done very well. He gave us a temporary, but major, scare when he aspirated a black-eyed pea on New Years, and did not have the force of breath to cough it up right away. It took hours to see his breathing go back to normal. But it did. Two days ago I said to him, “Honey, here we are, with you alive and us together, starting a new year. Who would have thought it?” Obviously, God did. We are going back to Johns Hopkins to see both doctors this month. I am glad that they are keeping up with him so well. They are always glad when he comes, because he is such a great research patient. I will let you know exactly when we leave, because we depend on your prayers.

THANK YOU for all of the responses you give to us. You encourage and care for our spirits every day. I know God meant for His family to funtion like this group of brothers and sisters does, and we are just awed to be part of it.

Have a blessed new year, Davidene


About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

7 Responses to Jan 4th – update

  1. Barb Smith says:

    Dear Davidene;

    Thank you for today’s update. You write so well and describe the scenerios in such a way, as I feel I am right there. What a wonderful tribute to Kent’s Dad and to the workings of God in his life. What more could a parent or relative want than to see the next generation picking up the baton and carrying on in the way that has been modelled before them and serving our Lord with passion. I got teary reading this ,as I was feeling the joy you were experiencing.
    So glad all went well for Kent and that he had that last conversation with his Dad. What a memory to hold on to.
    We keep you both in our prayers so thanks for keeping us current.
    May all go well as you keep these next appointments.
    Sending a hug,
    Love Barb

  2. Guy Madison says:

    Hello Kent and Davidene! So great to see both of you yesterday! As you said in your “post”, I did clearly see that God (Jesus Christ) was honored first and that Jack was honored for the man God created him to be. I am so inspired by the legacy and heritage that exists in your family!!! It is such an inspiration to me as a husband and a father. I am soooooooooooooo far from being the kind of man jack was, but it is something I intend to strive for in my one life on this earth.

    I continue to pray for you Kent and look forward to seeing you again soon!
    Blessings to both of you,

  3. Art Kimbrough says:

    Reading the blogs about Poppy and his heavenly reunion, along with all his “Memories” gives great insight into how Kent and your family developed such a strong passion for the Lord. Jack’s conversion at 12 years of age has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people, maybe even millions, around being impacted by the Lord. There can be no doubt why Kent is beating the odds with his diesase!

    Art and family

  4. Herman Reece says:

    Yes, Jack and Bonny are an example of what God can do if we are totally available to Him.
    They have truly been a 1 Cor. 10:31 couple and a blessing to us!
    Herman & Mareita Reece

  5. JACK & BARB COMBS says:

    Barb and I did not get the memorial time/date until later that afternoon. We so loved and honored Jack and his entire family. We shall miss his endearing laugh and intense interest in what the Lord was doing is lives around him. Jack prayed and gave to our oldest son Craig during the years he worked with Chinese at UT.
    Jack would always take us to the club for lunch and get the latest news of God’s work among the Chinese.

    Our thoughts and hearts are with you all!

    Jack, Barb & Craig Combs

  6. susan fowler says:

    Indeed, what a blessing yesterday’s memorial was! I, too, loved the sharing of the stories by the family. I spent time this morning recalling how the family has ministered to my heart over the many years. Jack and Bonnie led a marriage seminar at NWBC, getting to know Craig and Cathy through her sister’s family – the Bybees. Watching their girls at CHA. Gary working at Jack’s for 15 years – our Megan attending Eagle Lake. Then college scholarships. Davidene – hearing you at various women’s events. Kent and Kirk’s influence through Jack’s. And now the touch of Rod and Stevana and their precious children. Luke and Stevana have been such encouragements during this past year. The Fowler family is blessed to be touched by the Lord through your family. May God continue to strengthen Kent. Prayers and praise.

  7. Debra Duncan says:

    Jack’s celebration service was indeed phenomenal! We enjoyed all that was shared and God and Jesus were definitely honored, as they should be anytime someone goes to take ownership of the “place God has prepared” for each of us! We celebrate with you Jack’s truly great and awesome life. We look forward to the time we, too, can go to be with God, our hearts’ true yearning.

    So glad that Kent is still here doing miraculously! He is truly a miracle of God’s divine grace.

    Our love and prayers are with you and the entire Humphreys family.

    Scott and Debra Duncan

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