Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rest In Peace - Arlene Joyce Champoux Spearin

My beloved Aunt Arlene, Arlene Champoux Spearin, died a few days ago in Camden, Maine. It is a story worth telling and a life worth remembering.

Yesterday, I represented the Chase-Champoux side of the family in offering remarks at her memorial service at her home church in Camden. Here is an outline of some of the thoughts I shared. If you did not know her, these sketchy thoughts may not mean much, but may at least give you a sense of the scope of the lives that she touched in each stage of her four score and three years on this earth. If you were privileged to know her, the short-hand outline may remind you of incidents that will make you smile in remembrance.

My Aunt Arlene, along with a few other family members, was someone who taught me that following the vicissitudes of the Boston Red Sox was a life-long passion. Until the day she died, she was asking for updates on how the Red Sox were doing. I had the privilege of taking her to her last Red Sox game at Fenway Park. She had a wonderful time that day sitting in a wheel chair and taking in all of the sights and sounds and smells. Given how much baseball was part of her life, I would like to frame my remembrances of her life as a trip around the base paths. And I would like to do so by sharing briefly some of the images I recall from each of those stages of her life.

The trip from home to first base – Her childhood through her nursing career

· Athlete - Football and losing teeth

· Leader – NHS Class of ’44 – Don, President; Arlene, VP; Isabelle, Secretary

· Nurse – Salem Hospital School of Nursing, NE Baptist, Peterborough Hospital, Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Hospital

o Caring for JFK, as is nurse at New England Baptist Hospital – “Are you going on a date?” "No, I am going to a prayer meeting!"

· Family member –

o NYC trip – Times Square - stopping traffic to take a picture

o D.C. – Iwo Jima Memorial - she knew the designer

o Friend in a sailor uniform – “We are going to see a man about a horse”

o Sledding at March’s Hill – “She is remarkable for her age.”

The trip from first base to second base – Her pilgrimage as a follower of Christ and a missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship.

  • In 1948, when she was 21 years old, under the preaching of Dr. Harold John Ockenga at Park St. Church – personal commitment to follow Christ.
  • Chicago and Emmaeus Bible College
  • Joining CEF – teaming with Velma with CEF of NH and then traveling the nation as a Teacher training Team – Training Team #3
    • Winnebago - many thousands of miles traveling the U.S.
    • Camp Good News – Me, my sister, Diane, and my brother, Dave
    • Nana cutting out flannel graphs in her kitchen on Spring St. in Salisbury, MA
    • Skits – “Pencils - Two for five”
    • House on Litchfield Rd. in Londonderry, NH – games of Acquire
    • Trials of being a traveling missionary - Meal of peas

The trip from second base to third base – Joining the Spearin family

  • Answering a call from God in 1975 – I was living in Haiti and returned to meet a whole new branch of the family.
  • Nana’s quilt – velvet
  • Big adjustment for everyone – never easy, but motivated by love
    • Champoux stubbornness
  • Loved life in Lincolnville Center
    • trips to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
    • Camping, fishing, gardening
  • Listening to Jerry and his friends playing their Martin guitars
  • 1994, the Lord took Jerry home, and in a sense, ever since that day, Arlene has been waiting for the Lord to call her to join him and other loved ones in the presence of the Lord – which leads us to the final leg of her journey around the base paths.

The trip from third base to home – The latter years

  • In the years since Jerry went to be with the Lord, she has enjoyed watching the Spearin children and grandchildren and great grandchildren grow and prosper.
  • She tried to remain as active as possible in church affairs
    • helping in the office of the church in Morrill
    • helping to develop Camp Cornerstone here
  • She maintained contact through letters, e-mail, phone and personal visits with family and friends from all stages of her life.
  • As her health began to deteriorate, she tried to be gracious and to remain active, but it became increasingly difficulty.
  • She still loved games – “Hand and Foot”
  • While trusting the Lord’s timing, she was clearly waiting for the call into his presence.
  • In baseball, a third base coach stands near the runner at third and let’s that runner know when it is safe to make the final dash towards home plate.
    • Over the past days, she had a lot of coaches, lovingly waving her home
    • The visits and phone calls and cards affirming the love that we shared for her made it so much easier for her to hear her Savior’s voice when he opened up His loving arms and waved her home.

My Aunt Arlene – Arlene Joyce Champoux Spearin – has been welcomed Home

She was a saint – not because she was not perfect, but because she was forgiven, like the rest of us who endeavor to follow the Lord. She was not perfect, but she sure was special and memorable. We will miss her and may never see her like again.

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant”

1 comment:

Monique said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Aunt Arlene. This is a beautiful post in her honor (home-run). May she be reunited with Jerry and rest in peace. Amen.
Monique & Adam