Saturday, June 30, 2012

Celebrating Pops

Henry J. Verhoeven, known to family and many others as Pops, passed away a couple weeks ago.

Pops was celebrated the way he would prefer - we spent the weekend as family telling stories and laughing together.

We spent an afternoon at Jennifer's House visiting together and sharing stories about Pops. 
Mom and Aunt Glenda.
with Jennifer, my cousin


Mom and Dad

Family photo!

Sweet Holland.  I don't think I can talk about her without calling her
"Sweet Holland." She is unassuming, kind and helpful.  Love her.

With Jace, my cousin & childhood best friend.  

Grandma and Mom.
Ty, Josh, Dad

Will and Jace
There is a special place in Heaven for Debbie, Pops and Grandma's caregiver.
She is the kindest, most selfless woman I've met.  I love her for the care
she has given Pops and Grandma and the peace of mind she has offerred us.

Audrey, our niece, and Mari.
The memorial service was at the church Pops and Grandma have attended for over 50 years.  Story has it that Pops crossed the picket line to lay the foundation of the church.  Nearby, he was buried.

Repeatedly, Pops was mentioned as a man of God who continued to grow in his faith until his passing.  Numerous people mentioned how he grew, changed and "softened" in his aging years as he dove into God's word more frequently.  

I carry many memories of Pops.  One is the way he made me feel by laughing at my jokes.  He used to wait at the bus stop with me on the dairy.  He would ask me if our dog goes to school to and would laugh when I'd say, "No, he's just a dog, Pops."  I remember him telling that story more than I remember the memory itself.  
On the phone he always asked how my love life was and laughed when I responded with the same question.  Each time, he laughed like it was the first time I'd said it. Pops just got a kick out of me.

He was so proud of our accomplishments and took the time to tell us. "I'm proud of you, Baby," he'd say to me when I got a job, or when I got married, or when we bought a house.  When Ty got his first principal job, he began to call him "Mr. Robuck," with the emphasis on the Mister. Please understand, Ty isn't Dutch, so that was quite the honor.

Pops was a hard worker, and he was generous.  He created his own rags to riches story, a self education & successful businessman, and he saw to it that we were given opportunities for higher education that he was not given.

He loved Grandma.  They were married for nearly 71 years when he passed.  He loved her dearly.  He was loyal to Grandma first and foremost.

And, he loved his family.  

I am so happy Pops was able to meet Lainey before he passed.  He held her hand and smiled at her. When he moved into the care center a couple days prior to his passing, I was told the first thing he did was share with the nurse that he met his newest great grand daughter.

Rest in Peace Pops, and I will see you in Heaven.  Maybe we'll remember all the bull's names together there?
Taken in September, 2011, at Pops and Grandma's 70th Wedding Celebration.

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