September 17, 2020 was an important day. It was the day a very good friend passed to his heavenly reward. I am flooded with so many memories about this good man. Even though his death was not a surprise… he was 90 years old and had been sickly, in and out of the hospital and rehab centers for the past few years…. his death has “knocked me back”.
It was time. He had served his Lord well and been a wonderful husband to his beloved Joanne of 67 years, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend to many… but I can feel his absence. I can no longer have that chat with him, listen to his “words of wisdom and encouragement”. I can’t see that great smile.
Walt Quense was a wonderful man. Having lost my father at 9 years of age, Walt became a “spiritual father” to me when I was in my mid 30’s. Somehow, he helped me see myself as God saw me… that I was someone of value, with gifts, with potential. After spending time with Walt, I knew I could do more than I had thought.
I don’t know what to say. I could write about the many times we spent together over the past 40+ years… at our homes, when he became the godfather for our daughter Cristin, time in Rome, numerous meetings in the care for the People of Hope community, pinochle, coffee at Panara’s, praying over each other for our many needs, visiting him at the hospital and rehab facilities. I was always encouraged. His good friend Dick Birmingham and I saw Walt for the last time two days ago. He was in rehab and we were able to speak to him by phone outside his window. Although he was unable to respond, we prayed for him …. asking the Lord Jesus to help him, rebuking the devil, sharing our love for him. I think we both felt that this was our last moment with him on this earth.
In his later years, Walt was not able to attend the People of Hope’s Fall Men’s Retreat. I remember vividly the last one he attended (after an absence of a number of years),…. his grandson Billy brought him to an afternoon session. When he arrived and the word got around, the men stood in unison and began to cheer and applaud… it was a great moment.
Perhaps it was a prelude to this morning as Walt entered into paradise and the angels and saints stood and applauded as he was embraced by his heavenly father…. “welcome home Walter…. well done, good and faithful servant….enter into the joy of your master.” (Mt. 25:21)
We will miss you Walt, but we do plan to see you again. Rest in peace.
P.S. Walt and Joanne were “one” in their love for the Lord and each other, a beautiful example of Christian married love. This love was also expressed in the example of their beautiful family. Congratulations to all of Walt’s children and grandchildren who loved and cared for him so well in his later years with a special thank you to John & Mary the primary care givers.