||Tribute to Joseph Mottern - written by Carol Cobb 3 Oct
1987. Saved & contributed by Ruth Rugh 2011.
Our Friend - Joe Mottern. He was a
very special person - easy to love, quietly mischievous, boyishly
charming to the last minutes of his life.
We will hold him in our memory and in our hearts like a
cheery little glow, constant in his kind warmth. A provider of
generous, visible love to his wife of fifty-seven years. "Whatever 'Ubi'
wants, that's what I'll do" was a phrase he would say with his infectious
grin. And that made him happy --- just doing what 'Ubi' wanted.
'Ubi' was his pet name for Evelyn and it was leftover from childhood., and
she would always say, "Joe Mottern, call me Evelyn". "She's real fussy
about herself" he would tell me. "I like a woman to be fussy about
herself. She always looked nice and I like that too".
At his eighty-fourth birthday dinner a few weeks ago,
he enjoyed his food, savored his birthday cake and complimented our house as
he looked it over. At the table he teased about the china and picked
it up and turned it over as to inspect the quality. We laughed
together at his antics because we all knew he was doing his dear little
mischief so Evelyn could say "Joe Mottern you have to behave!" It was
a lovely natural moment, in a difficult time, and a gift to the rest of us.
On Tuesday of last week, in the back of the ambulance,
I told little jokes and he smiled through the discomforts, and squeezed my
hand. "I'll give that one to Paul Tropf" he told me. In the
emergency room, after answering all the same questions for four different
doctors and weary from doing it all, he told the doctor to just ask me.
She's heard it so many times now, she can tell it better than I can".
and he managed a little wink. Hours later in the hall outside the door
to his room, I sat and waited for word on him. Each person who dealt
with Joe came out to say "He is such a dear", or I can see why you think he
is so special, or some appreciative word for his strength of mind while his
physical self waned.
On Thursday I watched him say good-bye to Bill (his
son). Joe's face was so patiently loving while Bill told him of his
day. After a while Joe looked at me and smiled a little smile that
said "I love him and thank you for bringing him in." And then he
watched Bill with the eyes of a loving father and the tenderest of
Joe's last words to me were "I want to go home now" and
I knew how dearly he loved his home. He mouthed the words very gently
and I told him I knew he did and that I knew he would. There was clear
understanding that home was with that Lord that he loved and had served so
willingly and so well.
He was loved and cherished by his family and a wealth
of friends. His gentle loving ways nourished others through his life
and warm glow will lighten our hearts as we hold him dear in our memories.
I thank the Lord for the circumstances that brought our
lives to cross as do we all.
Joe Mottern died in 1987. Evelyn Mottern died in August 2002.