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Apologetics Press :: Reason & Revelation
May 1999 - 19[5]:40

A Personal Note—On the Death of a Mother
by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

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[Most readers of Reason & Revelation know that it is an extremely rare occurrence for us to mention purely personal items in these pages. Our goal is to produce a journal that is as professional as possible in both appearance and content. Generally speaking, therefore, it has been our view that personal matters are best discussed in other venues. With this month’s “Note from the Editor,” however, I would like to make a temporary departure from that policy—for reasons that I hope will become obvious.]

Picture of Mary Ruth ThompsonOn April 28, 1999, my mother, Mary Ruth Thompson of Dalhart, Texas, passed away after a stroke. She had battled severe diabetes since she was nineteen. Living alone as she did (my father, Charles A. Thompson, D.V.M., passed away on August 28, 1983), when the stroke occurred she was unable to administer the insulin upon which she was so dependent. By the time friends realized the seriousness of her condition, the effects of the stroke and the out-of-control diabetes were too much for her tired, frail body to overcome.

On Tuesday, May 4, funeral services were held at the building of the church of Christ in Dalhart. My parents had been members of that congregation since 1945, and my sister Cindy and I (both adopted by Charles and Mary Ruth when we were but a few days old) were reared there. Gaylord Cook, the local evangelist and one of mother’s dearest friends, presided. She was buried beside my father (a devout, Christian gentleman known to everyone simply as “The Doc”) and her husband of forty-one years. She would have been 75 years old in December.

While I admit to being somewhat biased, I think I can say truthfully that everyone who knew her loved, admired, and respected her. When my sister and I went to college, she did likewise—to finish the baccalaureate degree she had put on hold years earlier in order to rear us. After completing her degree, she taught science in Dallam and Hartley counties for twenty years. It was important to her that each of her students understand the truth about their origin via creation at the hand of Almighty God because she knew that, ultimately, origins and destinies go hand-in-hand. She taught them wisely, and loved them deeply. Hundreds of students came under her beneficent influence and lovingly called her “teacher.” But more important, they called her “friend.”

Upon retiring, she began writing articles for Discovery, the monthly paper on Scripture and science for children published by Apologetics Press. She used her knowledge of science and the Bible to teach youngsters about their God, His world, and His Word. As her articles are reprinted in the days yet to come, it shall be said of her that she, “being dead, yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4)—a fitting tribute that she would have relished.

She was a tiny, precious creature with a lovely demeanor and a gentle presence. But underneath the facade of that demure body laid an indomitable Christian spirit and a rock-solid biblical faith—both of which resulted from a life of service to her Lord. She was the most loving of mothers, and the most brilliant of examples. I am where I am today because she shared her faith with me. And I am—in a very literal sense—eternally grateful! Fortunately, she retained an ample portion of that faith for herself. On April 28, it served her well and carried her home. Oh, how I shall miss her. But oh, how I look forward to seeing her again in the beautiful city set four-square “whose Builder and Maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

[I wrote a eulogy about my mother’s life and times that was read as a special tribute at her May 4 funeral. If you would like to receive a complimentary copy, feel free to contact my office and I will be happy to send you one.]

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