Monday, October 25, 2010

Mack's Funeral

Mack Johnston’s funeral was last Tuesday in the chapel at Johnson Ferry Baptist. The place was packed. I estimated over 330 people were there, literally a standing room crowd. There were almost as many young people in attendance as there were grownups.

When I arrived Tammy was standing in front greeting everyone, seemingly in good spirits. Christy and a few others stood at Abby’s side. Leann was off to one side, in a larger group of girls that included Margaret and Emily. Tall, fair-haired Connor Smith stood with Spencer, behind Abby.

The service was simple. A pastor opened with remarks and a prayer. An unseen bagpipe played Amazing Grace. A nationally known apologetics speaker read verses. Mack had done volunteer work for his organization. A girl from Independent Studies played guitar and sang a song.

Then a friend of Mack’s delivered a most meaningful and personal eulogy, using the analogy of going from a “sprayer” to a “player” in golf. He met Mack in Brett Smith’s Sunday School class. Recounting the progress of their friendship from acquaintance to close friend, he added personal anecdotes of his own, as well as others from their weekly Christian Leadership group.

From prayer journals and personal conversations with the Johnston’s, he spoke personally to each family member, and recounted Mack’s spiritual growth as a husband, father, and man of God……acknowledging the fruit of the Spirit in his life. “Eight out of nine ain’t bad!” was his joke.

About Abby, he said Mack was fortunate to have a 17 year old daughter able to shoulder the responsibility she does. Mack was also fortunate that Spencer inherited Tammy’s good looks and calm disposition (as opposed to Mack’s!). Leann received Mack’s sense of humor. He liked how she’d sit and watch football games with him. The youngest was Mack’s baby.

Living Science was well-represented: Alyssa and Elizabeth, Kara, Sarah, Jordan, Tia, Joanna, Marshal and Allison, Lucy and Lynn, Charles and Becky Norman, Sandy, Connor’s parents, Christiana, Christine, the other Connor Smith family, and Lauren Cain. There may have been more.

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