Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dad's lasting legacy of Faith and Family~

My beloved Pop passed away last night. He had been slowly fading away, getting weaker and weaker with illness after illness. It's been only 69 days since my Mom passed, but for Pop I'm sure it must have seemed like an eternity and he wanted to go home to be with Jesus and with her. It was clear to all of us that when Mom passed on, a huge part of Pop went with her. They were pretty much inseparable since they were married in 1947. So now, they are dancing together in Heaven~ What a comfort that it is me and my family. Mom with her new legs and Pop with 2 brand new eyes! I'm sure they are "cutting a rug" up there, as the saying goes.

                                                                        My handsome Dad in 1947
                                                                 Dad and his sister Nicki, circa 1943

Surely, Mom and Dad are dancing the night way up there in Heaven!
They were together for an incredible 64 1/2 years! I'm sure Mom and Dad had they had their ups and downs, like any married couple, but they were loyal and devoted to each other for each and every day that they were together. What a wonderful example they set for us kids~When you say your vows, you mean them. It's easy to walk away, but they never did. When the going got tough and I'm sure it did, they stayed in for the fight. They hung in there till death do us part, the way it should be. I so admire both of them for that.

                                                                  Mom and Dad - Summer 2005
I'm happy to say that I got my strong faith in the Lord from my Dad, pure and simple. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior when I was a young woman and it had a huge impact on him and on us as a family. We never went to church as a family. Dad was never comfortable in a church setting, but we read the Bible as a family daily and we listened to a powerful radio preacher Reverand Robert Thieme out of Houston. TX.

We would listen on Sunday mornings and Pop always bought some of the video cassettes for us to listen to at our leisure, although admittedly it was him listening to them most of the time in his spare time. We would read scriptures and ask questions. In many ways at the time, I thought I'd much rather be doing other things, being a young lady with lots of activities and "boys" on her mind, but my Dad was adamant in his new beliefs and would not let up on any of us.

Now as I look back, of course, I'm grateful to him that he was so devoted to his new faith because he grounded me in my love of Jesus that has been the foundation of my entire life.So, thank you Pop. My love of Jesus came directly from you and I have lived a very blessed life because of it.

                                         I learned about Jesus and his love from my Dad early in my life~

His family has been everything in the world to my Dad. He has totally devoted his entire life, aside from his work, to spending time with his family. He was always there for us. Pop didn't have an easy childhood. His own father deserted the family when Pop was little, and he was raised by his Mom, his Aunt June and his Grandmother. I think once he got his own family, Dad was determined to spend as much time as he could with them. That's exactly what he did, and we were all very blessed by that.

If he wasn't working, he was home with us, working around the house, repairing something, building something, fixing something or listening to his HAMM radio in the basement. We did everything as a family. He took us to work on his Grandfather's house, painting it one summer together and he took us to the cemetery to visit his Grandmother's grave. He and I helped my brother deliver his morning newspaper route an afterwards we all went to Dunkin Donuts afterward and he let me get my favorite, which was always toasted coconut. He did everything with us. He included us in everything. In many ways, he was like our best friend~

I remember as a kid, Pop helping me with many school projects, watching me swan dive off the steps in our living room, applauding me after I played piano, playing croquet in the back yard with us, or sitting around the kitchen table just talking. He brought his Grandfather Victor Beagle over for dinner on Sunday's and made us listen intently as our 95 year old Great Grandfather murdered the violin! But we sat there at attention in our living room, listening to each out of tune note and clapped and whistling to give Grandpa Beagle our thunderous approval. Pop wanted us to learn life's lessons from the older generation. He would take me with him when we went to visit his Grandpa in the home he was living in in Fredericksburg, Va. Boring I thought at the time, but again he was teaching me about the value of my elders.

Grandpa Beagle on one of his many visits to our house in 1965!

Pop made us homemade ice cream, homemade root beer, walked in the snow to the 7-11 store with us, took me and my cousin for ride in his big truck to "go on a diet" as we called it we went to get soft ice cream before we started the next diet on Monday morning. He helped me write the invocation for my High School Graduation, where Vice President Gerald R. Ford was speaking. Of course, there are a thousand other things that any loving Dad does for their children and my Pop was no different. A staunch disciplinarian, but a quirky jokester, you never knew what to expect from Dad next.

He loved to sing his crazy songs, say his rhythmic nutty sayings that only he could remember from day to day and year to year. He would just break out in some saying or song that nobody ever heard of and know every single line and verse. I saw him do it with me, my brothers, then his grandchildren and great grandchildren over and over again. Sometimes I would just look at him and say" OK Pop, where the heck did that one come from, I've never heard that one before in my life?" He would just smile and give me a chuckle. He enjoyed his family immensely, and they were everything in the world to him right down to every last great grandchild. He loved us all.

Pop playing the organ with our son Eric(Biff) in 1988.
I saw him do this with each succeeding grandchild and even great grandchildren! 

Mom and Dad visiting family in Virginia in 1992.

Me and Pop in 1995

Pop was a great puzzle solver, game player, coin and stamp collector and interested in a million different things. He was always been quick to smile and very slow to anger. Pop was always a very hard worker and a great provider for his family and while we weren't rich, but we never wanted for the things that really matter in life like the love and devotion of our loving parents.

When we were friends with the man that brought my Dad to Christ, Louis Fritz, Pop would bring home animals from their farm to our small city lot in the suburbs of Alexandria. We had chickens, baby ducks, rabbits, and even a goat eating the laundry off the line. It was lively, to say the least! I can only imagine what the neighbors were saying back then~ Pop also took us out there to work on their farm, not something I was crazy about at the time, but now when I look back those were some of the most wonderful memories from my childhood. I think Pop was always a frustrated farmer at heart.

                                  Mom drew the line when the goat started eating the laundry off the line~~
                                                                    The goat had to go back!

We were so happy to have Mom and Dad's 50th Surprise Wedding Anniversary at Mike and Linda's house in 1997. We had family come from near and far, and it was so much fun. I know it was exciting for them and for us too and we created some great memories for years to come. We were also able to get together for their 60th. How lucky were we?

                                    Family gathered for Mom and Dad's 50th Anniversary in 1997
                           some of the kids took off before the pic was taken but most of us were there for it!

My brothers I'm sure, have lots of fun memories of Dad. We were 6 years apart in the birth order, so in many ways, we each had our own childhood with our own memories of Mom and Pop. But all of our memories I'm sure come back to Pop's strong faith in Jesus Christ and his love of his wife and his family.

They and their families have been fortunate to have Mom and Dad close during these past 15 years because my folks built a house and moved to Milton, TN., to be closer to Robert and his growing family. Mike and Linda ended up moving up there a few years later and the rest of the family followed. Only me and my family remained in Florida. Thankfully they have all been able to share their lives with Mom and Dad during their golden years and boy did that make my parents happy :) I was able to make quite a few visits which were wonderful times that I'll always remember.

I've been so blessed to have Dad in my life for so many years. I can remember when I was going through my health crisis back in late 1997. The doctors didn't know what I had. I was being passed like around like a hot potato from doctor to doctor in Sarasota, having every test known to man.

It was my strong faith in the Lord that got me through that ordeal. I couldn't have done it without Jesus and His love, He never left my side. I learned that from my father. Pop said to my husband Steve, a new Christian who was understandingly struggling with this horrible situation before him~ "Steve, you need to get on your knees and thank God for your many blessings and for your Salvation. Don't worry about this thing with Nick. He made her, you don't think He can take care of a little problem like this?" So simple, but so true. And, of course, my Dad was right on the mark. I didn't have brain cancer like the doctors thought I had, I had MS.

One of Dad's favorite verses in the Bible was from Ecclesiastes 12:13 "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man." Pop used to say to me, take this verse and hold it close to your heart. When all else falls away, this is what is important.

In reading my Bible and praying about Pop yesterday, I came across some other verses that I think Dad lived his life by each day in Colossians 3:12-19

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

My Dad was a great man. He was one of the good guys. I'll love you forever, Daddy. Thanks for being there for me for so many, many years in so many, many ways. Thanks for a wonderful childhood with unforgettable memories. You were the best.

                                                                    The original Beagle Family at 
                                                        Mom's 80th Birthday in S.C. at Robert's house  

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:'

Dear Heavenly Father:

Thank you so much for the life of my wonderful Father. He was such a good man. I am so grateful for so many things he did for me in my life, but especially for instilling in me my love of you Lord Jesus. I know that he is know out of pain and is dancing in Heaven with Mom. He is reuniting with so many loved ones who have passed before him and he is sitting at the feet of Jesus, rejoicing in his new home. Watch over him and Mom until we can meet with them and you in our own glorious reunion. 

In Jesus Name I pray,


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thank you so much Nicki for sharing the story of your family. What a wonderful testimony to your faith and family. I know it’s difficult to lose your Dad so soon after your Mom, but as you said they are together again and that gives you great comfort. You know how much he missed her and the life they shared.

    Take care,


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