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Pastor Schoen: February 22, 2014
I talked to Ruth my sister, and she indicated that since it was difficult for me to come up to meet with everyone next week I could send you my thoughts on dad through email. Thank you for your willingness to do this for us, I know my dad would have wanted you to do his service, he respected you, and considered you his friend.
Here are my thoughts regarding dad. Please feel free to use this or not as you see fit..
“My dad (John Cureton) was an extraordinary man in so many ordinary ways. Growing up we never had much money, and he taught us to be good money managers. Dad was “always there for me.” During my growing up years he worked and saved so that every summer we could all take a vacation. He was a history nut, and we would usually go to historical places. We would visit so many of the civil war monuments, where major battles were fought, and dad would always teach us what happened there. He wanted to go to Grant’s Tomb, and we all wanted to go to Grant’s Dime Store!
I find it ironic that dad seldom seemed to be able to grasp the feminine mind, yet the Lord gave him five women to live with. The Lord has a sense of humor I guess. While dad was never demonstrative we often saw his sense of humor, and I knew he loved me. I can remember seeing dad with his leg over the arm of the chair laughing uproariously at “Beetle Bailey” or some other cartoon. Dad prayed for us every day. He would bring me home a can of mandarin oranges because he knew I loved them. I remember one time though fiancés were slim. He cam home with a stuffed toy rabbit from the dime store I had wanted. It was such a joyous surprise to see him get out of the car with rabbit behind his back!
I remember many nights when I passed by his bedroom seeing dad on his knees praying. That impacted me as a little girl. I felt protected and safe. During the summers dad would take me swimming out to Twin Lakes, and we would have roadside picnics, etc. If we wanted to enter into dad’s world we had to enjoy things like baseball, stamps, railroads, and we were world travelers because he enjoyed taking me on trips through the road atlas.
While dad was a black and white thinker, he imparted to me a love for words, and a love for Biblical terms. Dad lived in his head. This was both good and bad. Good, because he lived very practically, and bad, because he was sometimes awkward with relationships.
Over the years I saw how tender dad was especially with animals. He would never kill a wasp or a snake, but take them outside and release them or take them out to the woods somewhere. I remember a time he nursed a baby bird back to health, and when he would go outside the bird would come and land on his head. He helped hungry people downtown by buying meals for them, and even helping people out that he read about in the newspaper. He very seldom said anything negative about anyone and always gave people the benefit-of-the-doubt.
Dad taught me that we are just people, and we do not always nurture as we should. I realize now as a parent myself, I tend to give my dad a “pass card” on certain things realizing how difficult it is to be a parent. Yet God gives us our particular parents for a season. Maybe in their lack it drives us to seek our heavenly Father’s face in deeper ways. In spite of my father’s flaws, and good points, I feel blessed to be the daughter of Gladys and John Cureton. I am looking forward to spending eternity with them, because of their diligent lifelong training. Because of them I know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.