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.
7 thoughts on ““Welcome Home, Walt””
Dad, such a beautiful tribute. He was a gift.
;-( RIP Walt Quense, Husband, Brother, Father, Uncle, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather and a good Catholic gentleman.
Walt Quense, the finest man one could ever meet. I missed talking to him the past 11 years that I have been away but all of my memories of him revolved around gratitude, love, Joy and of course, Jesus. What a truly remarkable man. Rest in Peace and I hope he gets a chance to give my Dad a hug.
Beautiful words Dad – I’m sure Walt had that great smile as he saw Jesus the first time with his own eyes !
Thank you Dave, a beautiful tribute indeed to a wonderful man I am privileged to have been called daughter-in-law for 34 years. Pete shared your words with me in the car and asked me to read them out loud as we drove so he could hear them again. I could barely get through it and tears fell down my husbands cheek! (No small feat to get that man to cry;) But how can you not – Walt was a great man, a great dad who was admired, respected, enjoyed and loved by so, so many, but especially his kids and their families! He will be missed indeed….especially that smile!!
When confronted with the uncertainties of decisions yet to be made, Walt reminded me to seek Jesus first. Walt, loved, encouraged and guided. He corrected sparingly, when necessary, with a firmness that set my sails aright.
Walt, for me, as for so many, was a true, saintly father. He was a bold warrior, a passionate lover of God and His ways. Kind and compassionate, but never sloppy about what love required of him or of us who were fortunate to be in his care.
I cannot find a name for my tears. Whether for the loss of my spiritual father or for the joy of knowing he is now home, with his Father. Your courage and joy, Walt, are now mine, to continue the journey and the fight.
“He will approach the throne of his Father, with Jesus at his side. The Father will rise an say ‘Welcome home’. And the Father will dance, for His son has come home, another warrior, return from the fight, another victory for the Lamb of God.”
So as for me I will press on, in running the race. With my eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects my faith. I will fight the good fight, with all my heart an soul. Until the day when I’m with Jesus, the day I’m finally home, the day when I have won the crown!”
“You’re a good and faithful servant. Come home and take your reward. Stay with me, forever more.