Our Great Loss

Dear friends, my beloved father has passed on to glory. On December 7th, he suffered a massive stroke, and he took his last earthly breath on Friday, December 8th. He was peaceful throughout, and Chris and I are so blessed to have spent several hours with him just before the stroke.  The sorrow for our loss is great, sometimes desperate; but our hope and faith have been a comfort beyond measure. I wrote a eulogy for him, that my older sister read at the service, and he was buried with military honors at Fort Indiantown Gap on December 14th. I am publishing the eulogy here in honor and memory of my loving father, Larry Weirich. May it be a blessing and inspiration to all who read it, just as he was a blessing and inspiration to all who met him. 

mom and dad

One of my Dad’s favorite sayings was that a grateful heart is a never ending feast. And as we celebrate his life today, our grateful hearts have so many blessings to count.

Larry grew up in Middletown. He was a devoted son and spent a lot of time with his grandparents. He was a real Huck Finn, always having adventures on the River and the Swatara Creek. He was a tremendous athlete.  In high school he was the quarterback on the football team, the point guard on the basketball team, and the pitcher on the baseball team. His love of nature and athletics would follow him through life.

Dad was drafted during Vietnam, and served first in intelligence, living in Panama. He then served in Vietnam, where he became a Christian in a foxhole, and the seeds were planted for Dad’s ever deepening relationship with God.

After Vietnam, Dad attended Penn State, where he met Rosemary, the love of his life. They were married for 42 years.

Somehow, God saw fit to give the 6 foot one star quarterback three girls. And Larry loved it. He delighted in his girls. He taught them how to fish, how to canoe, and how to run a button hook pattern. Larry was completely dedicated to his girls and set his priorities by spending time with them. He was always up for a spontaneous daytrip or a drive, and carted his family all around the state of Pennsylvania and the East Coast.

His love for nature was contagious, and he instilled it in his children. He took us for hikes, out in the canoe and to see new sites from the time we were little up through our college years and beyond. He always had an idea for an adventure, and he shared that adventure with those most important to him, his family.

He loved sports, and he loved to share them with us. He was always ready for a game of pickle or catch in the backyard, and spent countless hours with us playing one sport or another. He never played a day of soccer in his life, until his girls did. Once we started playing, he would take us to a field on Saturdays and play with us. My Dad also never missed a game. I still cannot understand how he was able to juggle work and still make all of our games a priority. Even while we were in college and travelling all around the state and neighboring states, my Dad would be on the sidelines. While we were sure of his steadfast support for us, he was always quiet on the sidelines. Never saying a word. He was there to show his selfless love and to be a consistent part of our lives.

Some of my father’s proudest days were walking his daughters down the aisle. He certainly loved adding some men to the family! My Dad was a spiritual leader to his new sons and a mentor.

Speaking of his proudest days, the births of his four grandchildren are at the top. It was his great joy to spend time with his grandchildren: Annie, Ben, Jane and little Rosie. He taught them how to care for the garden, he was an endless source of story telling and imagination for them and he loved to hold them in his lap or put them on his shoulders.

At work, my Dad was well loved and respected. His generous heart made him a man that people could count on. He went out of his way to hire people who needed a second chance. His work was a ministry that we only know a tiny bit about, because he was very humble. From the little we are aware of, my Dad gave work to the homeless, was well respected in the Puerto Rican community of Reading, helped immigrants to make their way, and even financially supported one of his employees when they opened a church in the Dominican Republic. Only God knows the true impact and all the seeds my Dad has planted here on earth. But, we can be assured that God has now called my Dad a good and faithful servant.

Our Dad was an avid reader, which Katie inherited. An avid gardener, which Jen inherited. And a lover of the Pennsylvania woods and mountains, which Sarah inherited.

But more important than the traits he gave us, were his continual life lessons that he instilled in us and in everyone he came in contact with.

He taught us to never make someone else’s job more difficult. Which meant we had to always clean up after ourselves at restaurants or in public. He would even have us line the trash bags in a certain way on trash day to make it easier for the workers to pick up.

He taught us that if anyone steals from us, they needed that item more than we did.

He taught us that chocolate is the most important food group.

Our Dad was a perfect earthly picture of our Heavenly Father. He was humble, patient and loving. He was generous, always giving freely of his time and resources. He was compassionate and understanding. He was physically strong, yet always so gentle. None of us have ever heard him raise his voice. His judgement was sound, and he had the tremendous gift of being able to see things from another’s perspective; which meant that he gave the best advice.

He also demonstrated how to be a Christian to us. His Bible could always be found beside his recliner, and he read it daily. He loved listening to worship music, and Sundays in the Weirich household were filled with it. He prayed with us and for us; and he fasted when he felt called to. He lived by faith, and in doing so, passed on a legacy of faith to his children and grandchildren.

While our loss here on earth is so very great, celebrating my Dad’s life is easy. We have the blessed assurance that my Dad is now joyously with his Heavenly Father. My Dad has gone home, and we will be with him again.

We have so much to celebrate. My Dad’s life was one of blessings upon blessings for everyone he came in contact with. Blessings upon blessings that move forward with us along with his greatest advice…

Love your family and be intentional in spending time with them.

Be generous, humble and compassionate.

Look for opportunities to give people a second chance.

And above all, have faith and lean on your Creator who has a plan to prosper you and give you hope.

 

About Jen

I love travel, which led me to become a fulltime RVer. I love wellness, which I can talk about 'til the cows come home. I love being self-employed, which means I get to dabble in what interests me from essential oils to RV planners. But most importantly, I love my husband and our life together on the road!

35 comments on “Our Great Loss

  1. You and yours have our heartfelt condolences.
    Losing one’s parents, or one of them is never easy.
    Your eulogy is beautiful, and brought tears to my eyes for your loss, but a moment of joy as well, knowing that not only is your Dad with our Heavenly Father…that the knowledge of this brings you comfort.c
    With love and deepest sympathy,

    • Ohhhh Jen how amazing you are to have written such an important and meaningful dedication to your father’s life!! He was a true BLESSING to you and ALL who met him. God Bless …thank you also. Maggie

  2. Jen, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your Dad’s life through your beautiful and touching words. You can count me in the number of those blessed by his life. May our Lord and Savior continue to grant you and your family peace and comfort during this time of earthly sorrow and heavenly rejoicing.

    • Thank you, Sandra. Your words are a true comfort for us, and a great reminder of the rejoicing that far outshines our sorrow.

  3. I am so very sorry about your dad, Jen. He was a blessed man for you to be able write so many wonderful things about him. This touched my heart as we are caring for my dad. I pray you and your family will find peace and comfort in your faith, family and friends.

  4. Jen,

    I am grateful for having been able to get to know your father a bit in this life. He was surely an inspiration for me as a father.

    I really feel for your mother, but it is good to know that she has 3 great daughters to help her.

    God bless you and your family.

    Merry Christmas,
    Joshua

    • Hi, Josh! Thank you for the kind words and your personal reflection. Merry Christmas to you and yours too!

  5. Sorry to hear of your loss. Your words describe a wonderful, loving parent who knew what was important. Yes, you have much to celebrate but the loss for you and your family is real. Take care.

  6. Oh Jen I’m so deeply sorry sweetie. I know the pain and am keeping your family in my prayers. That is a lovely tribute to your amazing Father.

    Enormous hug to you all,

    Tina

    • Hi, Tina. I was thinking of you and your recent loss too. So very sad for us both. Thank you for the hug, we surely appreciate it! 🙂

  7. Praying for you during this difficult time in your life. So sorry for your loss. It isn’t easy losing a parent but you can glory in knowing that you will see him again. He is rejoicing with the Lord with no more pain and no more sorrow. You will miss him greatly, I know, as I lost my father 15 years ago. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him but the hurt has lessened and I remember the good times and smile 🙂 Blessings to you! You wrote an awesome eulogy ….

  8. Jen, your father sounds like such a lovely man. You have so many wonderful memories of your loving and kind father, may they bring you much comfort in the coming weeks and months. You have not lost him for he LIVES in your heart, you will smile and think of your father often and will continue to be guided by him all the days of your life.
    Holding you and your family, especially your Mom, in love and light, wishing you all peace and healing at this difficult time.

    • Thank you so much, Candace. It was so kind of you to send us these encouraging and heartfelt words. Thank you, friend. -Jen

  9. Jen,
    So sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like you have some great memories. Hope your mom is doing well ,will be praying for peace and comfort as she adjusts to this stage in her life. Also will keep you and Chris in my prayers for safety and wisdom in the things you want to accomplish.

    • Thank you so much, Billie. We are so grateful for your prayers, especially for my mother. My mom is doing ok, mostly in a daze; but she does have comfort in knowing my Dad is in heaven and that they will meet again one day. She says that she feels a strength that she can only explain by all of those who are lifting her up in prayer, so thank you for being a part of that. Blessings on you, friend. – Jen

  10. Jen, so sorry for your loss, it is wonderful to know where he is and you will be with him again. I read all the good and wonderful things he accomplished while here on earth 🌏. Praying for
    God’s peace and comfort for you and your family. Love 💗 and Blessings Nancy and Lenny Hiltz

    • Thank you, Lenny & Nancy! It is so good to hear from you. And thank you for your prayers, we know we are being encouraged and soothed by all of those lifting us up in prayer. Thank you. Blessings on you, dear friends. Jen & Chris

  11. Jen and Chris,

    I look forward to meeting your dad in heaven some day, he sure sounds like a loving man of God. He is a tough act to follow for his family but you guys are already doing him proud!
    Our thoughts and prayers are especially with your sweet mom and all of the family as you do the very hard thing of living this life without his earthly presence. Together again…Someday…
    Love,
    your friend Nance

    • Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words, Nancy. It is so soothing in our grief to be reminded that we will be reunited one day. Blessing on you, friend.

  12. Oh Jen, such a terrible heartache. Your world won’t be the same without him. Reading the eulogy was like reading a love story about Jesus. Your dad sure did exemplify our Savior through his actions, beliefs and teachings. You were enormously blessed to have such a wonderful father. Every child should have that, but sadly many don’t. I hope everyone is as blessed by reading the eulogy as I am. I’ll be praying for your mom as she learns to live a new life without your dad. It’ll be very difficult for her, but she’s blessed to have her daughters, sons-in-law and 4 precious grandchildren.

    • Thank you so much, Debby. Thank you for praying for my Mother. She says that she has felt a strength that can only be explained by the many people who are lifting her up in prayer. Thank you for your kind words. Blessings on you, dear friend. -Jen

  13. Jen and Chris,
    I am so sorry for you and your family at the this time of your father’s loss. I salute your dads military and being a bagpiper as well as a US Air Force Combat Veteran of the Vietnam War, I once again shed a tear for a fallen brother. When we serve in combat we quickly find the meaning of Brother and Sister and fully understand the meaning of life by the grace given by our creator.
    Your dad sounds like he was a special man who had not only the love of his friends and family but also the love he was given by our God and in return of that love was the love he gave back to God. What you wrote about your father and his love for his family painted a picture of a fine love father , husband and friends.
    So in the late afternoon I will walk to our western of our property, face the setting sun and play a few of my favorite songs on my bagpipe. I will play the song of his Military Branch of service, followed by Going Home and Taps. I end my piping with Ava Maria and close out with Amazing Grace followed by my finest salute to my fallen brother. May God accept my offered prayers for your dads soul as he sits close by to our creator.
    You dad surely was a fantastic man from what you wrote and may he rest in peace.
    Sharing in your sorrow,

    Mike Fisher
    Middletown, NY

    • Hi, Mike. Thank you so much for reaching out to us. I saw your comment this morning, as all comments are sent to me directly through email; and it was such a blessing for me. I actually met my Mother for lunch today, and I was able to share it with her too. We shared some tears of gratefulness as we thought of you honoring and remembering my Dad in this way. Thank you so much for your kind, heartfelt act. We only wish we could have been with you, so that we could have heard it. We all love the bagpipes, and I am sure it was very beautiful. But even from a distance, it is soothing to us in our grief. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. And thank you for your service too, we are so very appreciative for your sacrifice. Blessings on you, Mike. Jen & Chris

  14. I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds as if your father was a great man–someone I would like to have known and called a friend.

  15. My deepest condolences. I have lost both parents….the hole they leave behind is deep…but thankfully we have the Lord to fill it and provide the strength to get through it. Gone….but never forgotten. May God be with you.

  16. New to our blog Jen, but wanted to say I’m so sorry for your loss. I feel your pain. I lost my dad to a heart attack, six days before my younger sister died of leukemia. Caring for my sister for two years, planning two funerals in a week, helping my brother-in-law and their two young boys navigate thru loss, and watching my mother’s sorrow have been life changing. It’s been almost 4 years now and I feel like I’ve just come up for air. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Oh, Joyce. I am so very sorry. I still feel as though I am just learning about grief, how it sneaks up on you at different times, how even months later I can still feel disbelief, how difficult it is to see my mother in a daze, and how gut wrenching the sorrow can be. I can not imagine how difficult it must have been for your family to face two passings, so close together. Thank you for leaving a comment, and blessings on you and yours.

  17. Hi Jen, I’m new to your blog but have watched your videos for about a year. This is such a wonderful testimony about your Dad. Your family has been truly blessed. My Dad died very unexpectedly many years ago at age 45. He was a godly Christian man as well. I still miss him 38 years later. But what a glorious reunion we will have in Heaven some day.! If you ever pass through Lincoln NE my husband and I would love to treat you and Chris to a scrumptious Nebraska steak. There is no place like Nebraska and no beef can beat Nebraska beef. This fall we will be rooting for the Nitany Lions (unless of course they are playing the Huskers.). Then it is Go Big Red!

    • Hi, Sherry! Thank you so much for the encouragement and kind words. And reminding me of the reunion to come. That blessed my day. Since you are new to the blog, you may not know yet, but I am obsessed with Nebraska! It is my favorite state! We have yet to visit Lincoln, we have spent more time on the western side of the state. But, I will certainly be in touch when we do make it there (please reach out to me, if you see we are headed in that direction) – we would love to meet you! And it is funny that you mentioned the beef, because I bought a roast at a farmer’s market in Scottsbluff, and it was the best roast I have ever had! I still think about that roast!:) Chris says thanks for the Penn State love, and we always root for the Cornhuskers (we abide by the same rules as you – unless they are playing our team)! Thanks for reaching out to me, Sherry, it is so nice to “meet” you! Hope you have a blessed weekend!

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