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Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

This morning I woke up to the sad news that my grandfather passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was 95 years old and had been married to my grandmother for over 74 years. They raised 5 children in addition to the young one they buried.

As I was struggling to come up with words to explain who this man was, this all I could come up with. This certainly does not do him justice:

Today the world lost a giant. At least that’s how he always seemed to me. My grandpa, Kenneth E Elder, was a WWII lieutenant who served with the 634th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Germany. The story goes that he promised God if He spared his life, he would dedicate it to serving Him. Grandpa went on to spend the majority of his adult life serving as a missionary in Zambia. I remember when I was in high school, he and Grandma went back to Zambia for a visit after being Stateside for over 20 years. The next thing I knew, they were moving back “home,” where they stayed until a broken leg necessitated a move back to the States. He was teacher, a preacher, a leader, and an amazing story teller. He touched countless lives over his 9 1/2 decades on this earth, and he will be greatly missed.

Grandpa Elder was a man who loved the Lord, loved his wife and loved his family. As I read people’s comments, I was reminded of the man who had a great sense of humor, and a project always in the works. He served God faithfully, and was an amazing example of a full life that was well lived. I pray that the same words can be said about me someday.

While we mourn his passing, I know that heaven is rejoicing as they welcomed this old, faithful soldier into eternal rest.