We gather this afternoon to mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Elaine B. Myers.
As we mourn this loss we draw strength from the Word of God.
Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. You know the way to the place where I am going…Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:1-6)
I declare to you brothers that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, not does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery” we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
Let’s turn to the Lord in prayer,
Our Father, we bow before you in gratitude for life. You made us, and you have loved us from before the time we were born.
Today we come to you in sadness and grief. We rejoice over the life that Elaine Myers lived. We are grateful for her influence and spirit. But the void her death leaves is great.
So comfort us this day, Our Father. Help us to remember. Help us to grieve. Help us to focus on the hope that exists for all who trust you. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Elaine B. Myers was born February 7, 1915 in Burlington, North Carolina the daughter of Andrew J. and Bertha Kerr Enoch Stadler. I’m told she was stunning in her beauty.
Elaine served as a registered nurse in the Army during World War II. She served, at least for awhile, on the Queen Mary. She would travel back and forth between London and Norfolk. They would bring troops to England and bring wounded home.
Once, Elaine was late getting back to the ship from leave. She was confined to the deck of the Queen Mary for two weeks (tough duty, huh?) And during that time she read “Gone with the Wind”
But the best part of her time in the military is that she met the love of her life, Dr. Frank L. Myers while in the army. They were married on August 31, 1947 in Washington D.C.
She and her husband lived in LaHarpe for many years where Elaine devoted herself to raising her two sons. They moved to Macomb in 1980 and to Gainesville Florida in 1998
Elaine Myers died on Sunday, February 20, 2000 at the Palm Garden Nursing Home in Gainesville Florida. She was 85.
She is survived by her husband, Frank Myers,
Dr. Stephen Myers of Christianburg Virginia and
Dr. Scott Myers of Gainesville Florida
Merrilie, Andrew and Ada Sue Myers,
Carly, Andrew and Elaine Nicole Myers
One sister: Hazel Leath of Burlington, North Carolina
She was preceded in death by 6 sisters
Ethel K. Whittemore
And one brother, Monroe Stadler
I did not have the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Myers personally but I have learned about her during this last week.
Elaine Myers was a gracious but private woman. She had several close friends and was content with that. She wasn’t the kind of person who was concerned about getting out in the public . . . she was primarily concerned with taking care of her family.
For awhile Elaine served as a fill-in private duty nurse for Mrs. McLean who owned the Hope Diamond. In fact, one night Mrs. McLean wanted to wear her diamond for a dinner party but the clasp was broken. So, Elaine put the diamond in a paper sack and took a street car to the jewelers to get it repaired! The jewelers did not send the diamond back the same way!
Elaine loved to travel. She loved her Missouri home on the lake and took pride in it’s beauty. She also enjoyed her trips about the country. In fact, the reason Elaine became a nurse in the first place was because it was a pre-requisite to being a flight attendant in those days. The idea of travel captivated her.
Elaine would help out at the office when needed and was very competent. She was also known as a great hostess. Many talked about the beauty of her home at Christmas and her graciousness as a hostess.
Elaine was a wonderful cook and specialized in southern dishes. She also loved to play bridge.
She was close to her family. She never lost touch with her siblings even though they were many miles apart. She would often express concern about her sisters and the things that were going on in their lives.
Elaine was a faithful person. She was baptized early in her life and was especially active in the church while she was raising her children. She was certain of her faith in Christ.
You cannot talk about Elaine Myers without talking about her love for her boys. I found this last week that it was tough for people to talk about one without talking about the other.
In March of 1956 Vern and Elaine adopted their almost 3 month old twin boys. The first place she stopped in LaHarpe with her boys was this very place.
The boys were the focus of Elaine’s life from then on. From the very first moment she took lots of pictures and made sure to label them meticulously. It was one of the ways she showed her love for her kids.
She was involved in what they were involved in. She was an Assistant Den mother. She helped out with the school immunization clinic. She always wanted to know what was going on in her sons’ classrooms. But . . . teachers tell me that she never sought to interfere with their work or their discipline of her children.
Elaine sought to provide her kids with the best opportunities they could have. She read lots of books about health and raising children. She was always looking for ways to encourage learning and growth. Every day the boys would come home to find juice waiting for them on the counter.
Many people remember Elaine trying to keep up with the boys. Some remember her chasing the boys around the yard wielding a yardstick. Others remember her yelling at the boys to get down off the television antenna tower. Others remember watching them march down the street to church on Sunday.
One day she was aghast that her sons had taken the red wagon to the cemetery and had returned with a bunch of flowers that they found there and brought home for mom. She had no idea who to return them to.
Then there was the time the boys thought they needed some dirt in the basement and shoveled it in through the basement window!
Elaine was justifiably proud of her sons. And became just as proud of her grandchildren. Family was what Elaine Myers longed for . . . and it was the joy of her life.
It was fitting that her sons had celebrated her birthday with her just weeks before her death . . . and they were sitting by her side when the Lord brought her home. For Elaine Myers, it was just the way it was supposed to be.
The Apostle Paul records these appropriate words,
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
I want to show you several things from this text that I hope will encourage you at this time of loss.
First, there are some important facts for us. We are told that there is life beyond the grave for those who trust Christ. The basis for this confidence is the fact that Jesus died and rose again.
In several places in the Bible Paul affirms the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection. Unfortunately, many today consider this to be metaphor. This saddens me greatly. The evidence for the factual and bodily resurrection of Christ is overwhelming.
The Biblical testimony is that Christ gave his life for our rebellion. When He walked through the door of Heaven He made it possible for sinful . . . but forgiven people, like you and me, to walk through that same door. He alone knows the way. He alone IS the way to eternal life.
Christ promised that He is going to prepare a place for us. Consequently, death is not the end for the child of God. Death is a transition. A graduation. It is the goal of our living on this earth. Elaine Myers has gone to be with the Lord. She is more alive now than she has ever been.
Notice also that there will be a reunion. Paul describes the second coming of Christ. At this point all those who have risen with Christ previously will reunite with those believers still on the earth.
Jesus told the thief on the cross, “today, you will be with me in paradise.” I believe the Bible teaches us that when we die we go immediately into the presence of the Lord. And when we are in His presence we will know our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I believe that Elaine has been reunited with all her believing family. She has her health back and she looks forward to the day when she can greet you at the door of eternity.
Because of these truths the apostle Paul gives two exhortations. FIRST, we should grieve but we should not despair. We do not “grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.” Paul acknowledges that grief is a fitting response to the death of someone we love. However, oujr grief is different. That’s because we see death differently. Death is not the end . . it is a transition. The horror of death has been swallowed up by victory. So understand that our grief this day, is NOT for Elaine Myers. She is with the Lord. If we understand her status we will rejoice for her. Our grief is for OUR loss. Today we must try to grasp the fact that though Elaine’s body is before us . . . Elaine Myers is not here . . . she has risen!
SECOND, we are to encourage one another with these truths. The death of someone we love reminds us of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are reminded today that there is a life beyond this one. We are reminded of God’s love.
And so, even in our sadness we encourage each other. Today is the day to make sure that we are on the right course. Today is the time to examine our own relationship with Jesus Christ. Today is the day to set our eyes on the prize of eternal life that is extended to us in Christ.
So today, I encourage you to remember Elaine Myers. Remember her spirit, her love, her faith. But also remember God’s promise and Christ’s demonstration of life beyond the grave. Follow in Elaine’s footsteps . . . push on toward the goal of faithful living . . . in the sweet confidence that someday we will be together again, in the home of the Savior who has loved us all our lives. And when we get there . . . .I hope you’ll introduce me.
Father, we thank you for the life of Elaine Myers. Thank you for the love that motivated her life. Thank you for her spirit. Thank you most of all for her faith.
Lord, today we claim your promises. Today we stand confident that Elaine is in your presence. So, we ask that you receive her and love her.
We also ask that you help us. Fill the void that is left in the lives of Frank, Scott and Steve. Grant them the peace that comes from a certain confidence in your promises. Give them the strength they need for the journey ahead. Help them as they seek to live faithfully before You. We ask these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.