Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Hole in our Hearts

Early this morning our family suffered a terrible loss.  John’s stepfather, Robert Victor Johnston of Lake Jackson, lost his valiant battle with COPD and heart complications.  Vic was the epitome of the often overused phrase, “a gentleman and a scholar.”  With his dry wit and infectious smile, he was unfailingly courteous, gracious and generous.  He reached out to neighbors in need and for many years was the person who showed up early before church to make sure the coffee was ready for the between-Sunday school-and-church crowd.

 Vic was one of the smartest people I have ever known.  He spent his career as a research veterinarian with Dow Chemical, and was an avid reader of technical publications as well as Scientific American and other journals.  John and I benefitted often from his knowledge and expertise.  He was never too busy to answer our questions about diseases and difficulties with our cattle, not to mention the seemingly endless canine issues that arose with our several dogs.  Most of the time he knew the answer immediately, but if he didn’t, he researched it and called with a solution.

Vic came into our lives in 1993 when he married John’s mom, Maxine Bagley.  Both Vic and Maxine had lost their respective spouses several years before.  Vic’s wife, Jane, had succumbed to cancer, and John’s dad, Manning, had died suddenly of a heart attack.  When they met and fell in love, Vic explained that he had previously had heart bypass surgery, and that he was not expected to live more than five years or so.  However, he wanted to share his remaining time with Maxine.  Those five stretched to more than twenty wonderful years they shared together, traveling, going dancing and enjoying life.  What a blessing they were to each other, and to their families.  His passing leaves a hole in our hearts.  We will miss him terribly.  

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