Edgar Potter's Memorial Service
Presented By Kevin Knight, Presiding Minister
The following is text from the service that Kevin Knight presented at Ed Potter's funeral.
Order of Services:
We are here today to remember the life of Edgar Lee Potter; A loving husband, a great sibling, a devoted father, an always doting Papa, and a genuine friend who loved people.
Ed was born on Nov 6th, 1928, in Barberton, OH. He was a 1947 graduate of Barberton HS and attended Ohio State University. In the early 1950's he moved to Independence, Mo, where he worked in the plumbing and hardware business with Ardith and Sam Balser. He married Carolyn Elgin in 1964. He worked for 20 years for Owens Corning Fiberglas in Kansas City, KS. He also worked for the Raytown school district, Allis-Chalmers, Mound Grove Cemetery, and Price Chopper. He attended Winner Road Church of Christ and was an adult leader in Boy Scout Troop 192. He was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Verda Potter.
His survivors include his wife of 38 years Carolyn Potter, Son Steven Potter, daughter Kris Knight, and two grandsons, Mikael "Kael" Knight and Kodiak "Kodi" Knight - who all reside in Missouri. He is also survived by two brothers, Edwin Potter, his twin, of Florida and Richard Potter of Virginia; a sister, Shirley Moon of Ohio, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Ed passed from this life on Sept 28th, 2002 at his home. He was 73.
Many of us are sorrowful today, but in reality we are sad for ourselves. Sad for our loss. Saddened by the thought of not being able to spend more time here on this earth, in this life with Ed. Saddened that our children wonít know him as we have. Saddened that we wonít hear that deep, hearty laugh. If Ed were here heíd crack a joke, give a word of advice, talk sports, and crack another joke. Ed always seemed to know when to ease things with a comment or laugh, and when to be serious; he knew when to give advice, and when to be silent; he knew how to prioritize life; but most of all, he knew how to enjoy life, even in difficult circumstances. And he knew that this life was to prepare us for the next life. And I believe he now knows how to and is enjoying that next, glorious life.
Would you pray with me.
As I mentioned, many of us today are saddened - saddened by our loss. It all seems to have happened so quickly. A mere 8 days before his passing he was diagnosed with Leukemia. Even a week before, when Kris and I visited in the hospital, he seemed fine, except for being a little short of breath. Many didnít get the word he was ill before he had passed. Others heard and made plans to come and visit, but werenít able to get here before he passed. While his death surprised many due to the quickness, and hurts us for our loss, there were some good things, comforts, we can take from his passing. It wasnít a prolonged illness, he didnít ever seem to be in a lot of pain, he did get to see a lot of his family, he got to be at home, and his passing was very, very peaceful.
I believe there are reasons his passing was quick and peaceful, one of which was that he was at peace with God. Ed believed in God and His Son Jesus Christ. Ed knew of the promises in the Bible - that of eternal rest from Rev 21:3- where "the dwelling of God will be with man, and He will Iíve with them. They will be His people, and He will be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or morning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Ed knew of the promise in John 14 that Jesus made to his Disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my fatherís house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
Ed also knew those promises are for those who believe in God and Christ, and who try to live a life that would reflect that belief. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commands." And this is where I believe Ed excelled.
He faithfully attended church services, and made sure his family did also. But more than that, Ed lived an example that few can match, because he truly loved his neighbor - and everyone he met was his neighbor. He gave of himself endlessly. Speaking with one of his neighbors recently they said, "He had the gift, the gift of working with people. He could always make you laugh or smile, he never met a stranger, and he was always pleasant to be around. He had the gift." I asked Kris how Ed and Carolyn met - the answer - in a checkout line - when Ed struck up a conversation and asked her to join him for a burger. He loved sacking groceries, because of the people he got to meet. Steve mentioned that when he had his knee replacement his customers - not his co-workers, but his customers, sent flowers to the hospital. He truly loved life, and loved it because of the people he got to interact with.
Ed prioritized his life, and his time, for the people he loved. When the Kris and Steve were little, he spent his time at work to support them financially, but he spent every waking hour with his family - coaching football, leading boy scouts, being a Chauffeur, being involved in school activities and the PTA, helping Carolyn with the catering, always giving of himself to others.
As news spread about Edís passing, people started calling and sending cards form all over. People he worked with, old neighbors that had moved away, old church friends he hadnít seen in a long time. Cards mentioned words like: he brought laughter here, we all loved him. He loved talking with people, and making them smile. His whistle will be missed. He was always so sweet and caring - he touched many of our lives. And everyone wrote - He will be missed. Yes, he will be. His laugh, his whistle, smile, his presence. Our lives were richer for knowing him, because he lived the example of servant-hood and encouragement.
His work ethic was incredible. His willingness to help others was endless. His cheerfulness was ever present (except of course when ornery-ness took over - but even then he was encouraging!) His devotion to his family was rock solid. The way he raised his children was selfless - he taught them about many things in many ways, mostly about life taught through his example. His dedication to his marriage was unswerving. Serving in his home, helping care for Carolyn, even when he himself wasnít feeling the best. Ed also loved being a Grandpa - or Papa as he was known. He loved children, and would do anything he could for them. The encouragement he gave to those around him was endless. He served until the end. He loved life completely.
Jesus said "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not loose his reward." Matt 10:42
In Matt 25:34-40 talking about manís judgment Jesus said, " Then the King wills ay to those on his right, ĎCome you who are blessed by my Father; take you inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
"Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
"The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Ed lived the first two commandments. He loved God, and loved his fellow man. Ed lived a life that reflected those. He wasnít perfect, no one is. He couldnít earn his salvation - no one can. But he relied on God, and served his fellow man - and thus lived an example of the Christian life.
So today we mourn - not his passing - but our loss. We mourn for ourselves. We mourn a world that wonít be quite as bright. But we mourn knowing that Ed is indeed in a better place. And that we can and will see him again, spending eternity with his smiles, jokes, laughs, and a bit of his ornery-ness.