Monday, November 24, 2008

Tribute to Mr. Denniss

This week, we sadly bid farewell to our friend and brother Mr. Alf Denniss, or "Alf" as he appreciated being called. Alf was one of the sweetest men on earth- he was always ready to greet you, with a firm handshake and a friendly smile. His welcome never ended there either. He always asked about your family and friends- how work was going, and what your upcoming week held in store for you. He never forgot a name or a face. Any place that Alf stood was instantly made warmer and friendlier, just by his presence there.

Alf always made a point of going to church. He and Florence drove from their family farm, a 48 mile round trip, made twice each Sunday to attend services. It didn't matter if it was 40 below or 90 above, rain or blinding blizzard, he very seldom missed a Sunday church service. Even Alf's failing health didn't stop him from coming- as only two weeks ago we could see him sitting in the back row, singing along to the choruses and hymns.

Alf was committed also to his family. Florence and he were as close in the end as they were in the beginning, holding hands during the services and special assemblies for the church. He needed her and she needed him, and that was a wonderful example to every couple. He loved his children and grandchildren passionately- taking them in whenever they needed, seeing them through school and extra-curricular activities.

Alf was always so willing to take part in activities, joining in at church picnics in the bag races and tug-of-war. Grandson Peyton loved playing street hockey with Grandpa, as well as having grandpa join him in many other things.

He was quick to offer his hand in any project that was going on. He took part in the new expansion of the church, where his excellent carpentry skills came in very handy. His patrons at Country Cycle appreciated his willingness and capability to fix any bike problems- from the smallest to the biggest. He enjoyed talking to the children especially, as they came to him with their cycling troubles. There wasn't a kid Alf met that didn't like him.

I think we can all agree, however, that Alf's greatest love was the Lord God. This was always clearly demonstrated by his actions and his knowledge of the Bible. Alf served his church in many ways, praising God through his talents in musicianship, and leading others to Christ by aptly confirming his faith through the words of scripture.

It is difficult to lose a gift like Alf Denniss. But how wonderful it is to know that the treasures he left with us, will remain in our hearts and memories for the rest of our days- until we see him again in Heaven. Then, Alf, with a brisk walk and a firm handshake will say, "Welcome here! It is so good to see you!" God bless you brother Alf- we love you and we will miss you.