March 26, 2010

Madison's Baptism -- March 11, 2010

Miss Madison Wenzel (our new grand daughter) was baptized a member of the church on March 11 by her most awesome stepdad Jared.  It was a great event!  It was held on Wednesday night which is our regular Mutual night for the youth, so all the young men and young women were there to support her.  Her dad was able to come as well so there was quite a turn out.  Jeff spoke on Baptism and Zach spoke on the Holy Ghost.  Katherine sang "When I Am Baptized" and the youth sang the song "Be Strong"--a request by Madison. 

While Madison and Jared changed, we had a little mini-tesimony meeting.  Even Madison's dad stood up and thanked everyone for showing their love and support for Madison and that he was very glad that Madison had chosen to be a member of this church.

We are all excited for Madison and hope this will be just the beginning of great new things in her life.  We love her and congratulate her on this great day!  I hope all of you will send her your congratulations as well.

March 17, 2010

Clinton's (IL) Number One Fan

The Clinton Journal
BY: Tim Moran
Posted: Monday, Mar 1st, 2010

"As true as they come, Paul Huffman is, and always will be a Clinton Legend."

Sadly, Clinton athletics’ biggest supporter over the last 60-70 years passed away Saturday in Decatur at age 86.
For years, if one were to attend a Clinton High School sporting event, there’s a good chance Paul Huffman was there.
Paul never had a child or grandchild on the team. Many nights were cold and rainy and Paul often had no mode of transportation. But there he was, every night in row one, cheering on his beloved Maroons.
And in basketball season, after Paul would cheer on the Maroons win or lose, he would sweep the floors.
He spent years as a custodian for the school. He called that job “a highlight” of his life.
Before the game, Paul would be seen standing at attention, proudly singing the Star Spangled Banner.
He was indeed Clinton’s number one fan. No one was prouder of the town he loved, and no one was loved more than Paul.
“You just can’t say anything bad about Paul,” neighbor Vera Bright said in a 2009 interview with the Clinton Journal.
“He made sure that if you were his friend, you were his true friend. You can’t find anyone who would say anything bad about Paul.”
If someone was meeting Paul for the very first time, they would feel like they were talking to a longtime friend.
Who were Paul's friends in town?  Everyone.
"Paul is never a stranger," friend Joel Hendricks said.  "He can make conversation with everybody and will always remember you."
Not only did Paul attend every sporting event for years, he would be seen at all community events and parades.  Whenever someone was being honored, Paul would make a point to be there.
"Paul is the ultimate Clintonian," longtime friend Cyndie Andrews said.  "He has given this community his humble all."
"I would see him at games and wonder how he got there.  And then afterward he disappeared seamingly like magic to show up at the next sporting event, parade, funeral, visitation or whatever the Clinton agenda was for that day or evening."
He was as good of a man as Clinton ever had.
Paul would often be seen with some of his closest friends at Darvin's Barber Shop in his later years.
"Everyone looked out for Paul and he would help anybody," friend Darvin Volker said.  "Everybody did Paul right and he never had trouble getting a ride anywhere."
As true as they come, Paul Huffman is, and always will be a Clinton Legend.

Paul Randall Huffman 1924 - 2010

Uncle Paul passed away Saturday, February 20, 2010 at Decatur Memorial Hospital.  Funeral services were held on Saturday, February 27.  He was buried in the Monticello Township Cemetary in Monticello, IL.

Funeral Program Cover

Funeral Program Back Cover

 There was an outpouring of love and sadness from the people of Clinton where he lived his whole life.  He was an avid sports fan of all things athletic at the local high school and Jr. High school.  They even had their own cheer for him, "P-A-U-L, PAUL! PAUL!" 

On his 80th birthday, Paul was recognized during a high school basketball game half time and in 2007, he was honored by being chosen to be Grand Marshall for the annual Christmas Parade.

The following are remarks from some of the local Clinton residents:

"From the time I was very young, until just recently, Paul attended every sporting event he could for CHS!  He was a loyal fan!  Paul was in attendance rain or shine.  He knew the kids by name, was always positive and always happy to be a part of Clinton!  He will be sadly missed!!!"

Katy Arnold
Alternative Education Faculty
M-Squad Dance Team
Head Coach
Clinton High School

"I can also hear him bellow with pride the Star Spangled Banner at EVERY event he attended.  He would walk...everywhere to be a supporter of CHS."

Kay Werts
Physical Education
Clinton High School

"When the 1978 Girl's Basketball team was undefeated until their final game, home or away Paul was there to cheer us on.  He made us feel like we were champions not just on game day, but every day (even decades later).  We never knew how he got there, but somehow he would always find a way even if the game was hours away.  If it was a Clinton sport, it was Paul's mission to see them through the season.  And it was a mission he did well."

Dorothy Harrold

"Eldon and I have seen Paul at many, many games over the years.  He sure loved cheering for our kids!  (We used to wonder whether the games could legally go on without him there.)

All of these comments confirm for all who read them that in spite of his challenges, Uncle Paul lived a full and meaningful life.  I think this picture of the flag flying at half mast at the high school says it all. 

How many of us will have that honor at our passing?  I think it would have made Uncle Paul very proud.