Funeral Service for Aerial Alfonzo Rawlins
Held 31 July 1997 at the Kennewick 9th Ward Chapel
Officiating: Byron Burrup, First Counselor, 9th Ward.
Thank you brothers and sisters, You can take your seats. We appreciate you being here on this special occasion, for your support to the family and friends and loved ones of Brother Aerial A. Rawlins. It's a time of memories, it's a time of special feelings, and it is a time in which the spirit can be with us. We pray that spirit might be here today. We'd like to thank Sister Karen Rawlins, granddaughter in-law to Brother Rawlins for this beautiful prelude music. We will begin services today with the grandchildren singing, "Where Can I Turn for Peace", with Sister Mary Jo Schwab conducting, after which the invocation will be offered by Sister Carol Rawlins, daughter in-law.
Musical Number: "Where Can I Turn for Peace", grandchildren.
Piano: Karen Rawlins. Vocalists: Heidi Rawlins Larsen, Mark Larsen, Rick Rawlins, Julianne Rawlins, Tami Rawlins, Mathew Rawlins, Bruce Rawlins, David Rawlins, Diane Rawlins Mayo, and Linda Rawlins Mason.
Invocation: Carol Rawlins, daughter in-law.
Our Father in Heaven, we are grateful this day to be able to attend and be part of this service that will be performed for Aerial. We are so grateful for the knowledge that we can be together in eternity. We thank thee for the blessings that bring peace into our hearts, even though it is sad to have to part at this time. We are grateful for the plan of salvation that we know will allow us to be together again. We pray that thy spirit will be with us this day with those who will participate in this service. That each will be blessed, and that we might understand how much love Aerial had for each one of us. We ask thy blessings to be with us in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
We will now have a violin-organ duet, "Our Savior's Love" with Sister Karen Rawlins and Diane Mayo. After this duet we will have the eulogy by Helen Rawlins Knopf. Following the eulogy, we will have Mae Rawlins Jorgensen, sister of Brother Aerial Rawlins speak.
Violin-Organ Duet: "Our Savior's Love", Karen Rawlins and Diane Rawlins Mayo
Eulogy: Helen Rawlins Knopf, daughter:
My bothers assured me that this would be a good experience for me. And at some point in my life I will stop listening to them.
My father Aerial Alfonzo Rawlins was born November 27, 1902 in Lewiston, Utah. I was born much later, and as I think about my dad I remember that most of his life was spent in Utah, or a great deal of it, particularly his young life. My brothers were born in Lewiston and I would have thought that their memories would have been sharper than mine, since mine didn't start there. But my dad was the oldest of eight children born to his parents Jasper Alfonzo Rawlins and Cora May Burbank. Dad went to school in Lewiston and highschool at North Cache. After his mission he took some summer classes at the AC, which is now known as Utah State University. He spent his youth in Lewiston on the land that was homesteaded by his grandfather, and lived in the house, and you know I'm still unsure of some of these things, but lived in the house that great grandpa and great grandmother built. My great grandparents lived their until their death, and also my father's parents.
In 1924 Dad was called on a mission to the Northwestern States. I have to say that he talked about this mission the rest of his life. It was obviously a very high point in his life. He was the first of the Rawlins boys to serve a mission, and he set the example for many of his younger brothers, who also served missions.
He returned from his mission and a year later, he and my mother were married. They had written during his mission, and dated after he returned. They were married December 15th1926 in the Logan Temple. After their marriage they had a couple of really good happy years when they were quite successful. Dad had a herd of cows and things were good for a few years. And then the depression hit and things went from good to really bad. It was really hard for them. They struggled. Dad kind of worked where he could find work. They moved around, and it was a very, very tough existence.
In 1939 they moved here to Washington State, to an area called the River Area, or White Bluffs, and we know it now as Hanford. There were seventeen families from Cache Valley who moved to White Bluffs. Dad was very excited about it and my mother was not at all excited about it. She did not want to leave Utah. Her mother had passed away very shortly before they moved, and she absolutely did not want to leave. And Dad's family was not terribly encouraging. They did not feel you could be active in the Church if you were outside of Utah. And so they came to Washington State. Even though my mother was very hesitant, she readily admitted afterwards that it was the best thing they ever did.
I was born while they lived in White Bluffs, although I have no memories of it. But I do remember hearing the stories told about White Bluffs, and those times were really very wonderful for them. It was still a struggle, but they had a nice small home and ten acres of land. I'm going to quote from my mother's history about this home.
"It had two bedrooms, a nice front room and a kitchen. Nothing was finished. There was a place that was supposed to be a bathroom, but it had never been plumbed. In fact there was no water except for a tap that was in the kitchen, a tap of cold water. It was more luxury than we had had for a long time, and the people were so wonderful to us. We thought we had gone to Heaven."
These were her memories of White Bluffs. When they moved to White Bluffs they had just three boys, Bruce, Steve and Claude. I was born while they lived there. I remember their telling me that these were really happy years, until the government abruptly moved them out. In 1943 they moved to Walla Walla, and eventually the government paid them for their land there. The government didn't show a really good faith in this situation, but, what's new. They bought a small home on ten acres of land in Walla Walla, and that's tho only home I remember living in as a child. When they move there it was a small home and it had no electricity or water. It was primitive kerosene lamps, hand-pumped water on a wood stove to wash clothes on a scrub board. But they loved that land. Mother and Dad both loved that place.
Dad liked to read. He wasn't always particular about what he read. He just liked to read. He was especially interested in reading about history. He liked to watch baseball, and most of his life he worked at farming and was not a terribly successful farmer. But he loved the land. He worked in the sugar beet factory in Oregon and Washington then again while we were in Walla Walla. He loved his grapes. He loved his woodpile someone reminded me last night. He loved flowers and the land there in Walla Walla was fertile and grew just about anything they planted.
In the Fall of 1948 Dad was working for Frank Nelson and suffered the loss of his right leg above the knee. He was 46 years old, and it was a real tragedy. He never really worked again after that.
They lived in Walla Walla for nearly forty years. Finally in 1982 they sold the home and the land there. It was too much for them and none of us lived close enough to really be able to help them. At that time they moved to Bellevue, Washington where they bought a small home and lived there for seven years. Mother loved it and thought that they had gone to the Garden of Eden because it was so lush and green. If Mother was happy, so was Dad.
In 1989 they moved again. This time back to almost where they started in Washington. Back to Kennewick, where each of them lived until they passed away. Mother passed away in 1991, and of course, Dad last week.
All of us have different memories of this man. Some of us remember him as a brother, as an uncle as a father and a grandfather as a great grandfather, as a friend. And it is my prayer today that those memories will remain with us and be special, and when we meet him again, it will be with great happiness and pleasure. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Speaker: Mae Rawlins Jorgensen, sister.
I was raised on a farm with six brothers. Four of them older than me. Two were younger. I had a sister who was younger than me. She died when she was just eight months old. So I was really raised with just brothers. But each one had his own personality. And each one had a special place in my life.
One morning last week Bruce called and told me that his dad didn't come for breakfast. That was a sad deal for me. For the past several years he has called me every Saturday morning. I live in Huntsville, Utah, and sometimes he got me out of bed. And this was Pacific time. I was Mountain time. But by and by he decided that he didn't need to get up that early. I don't know why he did in the first place. He was my oldest brother, and the very last to go. The other brothers, one by one, have gone. I miss him very much, but as I think about it, there were plenty over there to greet him. His companion, Dorothy. His mother and father, how about those five brothers, and that baby sister. He knew his grandparents. Grandmother and Grandfather Rawlins lived in the same house as he. He told me once that he felt very fortunate to know Grandma Rawlins, because she told him a lot of things that happened to her. She was a pioneer into Utah in 1847, so she had a lot of things that she could tell him.
My husband and I took our children several times and went to Walla Walla to visit Aerial and Dorothy and their family. And they always had such a great time. Dorothy always saved a special story to tell to my husband each time. I don't remember them all a few I do remember. And I remember Aerial's weed-free garden, and his lovely grapes. He would go with us. As Helen has mentioned, he was an amputee and couldn't get around too well. We went a lot of places, saw a lot of things. Went to the Coulee Dam, and a lot of places that were very interesting to me and my children.
When he was around fourteen years old, our father was crippled with arthritis and was never able do hard work after that. And Aerial, the oldest, and the brothers that followed him did the work that father supervised. He taught his sons how to work and was for a long time able to handle a team of horses. But later on it was almost for him, but he bought a Model T Ford. What expectations. He could go somewhere without bothering someone. But he couldn't. His shoulders and arms were so crippled he could not handle that car. He said once when he said "whoa", it wouldn't stop. Aerial patiently helped me to learn to drive that car, and when the older boys were busy, I was the family chauffeur. As I thought about it the other night, I must have been thirteen or fourteen years old. Mother never tried to drive. But I was the chauffeur. He told me in one of his talks on these Saturday mornings that some people he knew were very frightened of death, but he wasn't. It held no fear for him.
He was proud of his family, and when he told them how many he had, or that there was a new great grandchild, they thought he was boasting, but he loved his family. I loved him. As I said, He was my oldest. I always had him. Now he too is gone. And I'm the last leaf on the tree, and I hope I don't wither.
I have a family of my own, and so I must carry on for them. And I do thank the Lord for preserving my life, and helping me to know all of these six brothers I had, and for the kindness that the extended family has shown to me. Each of theirs have treated me very wonderfully. I'm here today because of those brother's sons.
I ask the Lord's blessings to be with us. Help us to cherish these lovely memories we have of Aerial, and to carry on as we know he would like us too. And this I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.
Byron Burrup, First Counselor, Bishopric
We'll now be blessed with a musical number, "Father in Heaven", sung by the grandchildren. Following this there will be three speakers. First Brother Claude Rawlins, Brother Stephen Rawlins, and Brother Bruce Rawlins.
Musical Number: "Father in Heaven", grandchildren.
Speaker: Claude Rawlins, son.
Dad passed away and Randy Johnson lost his next game. He liked baseball. I never figured out why he did, but he loved baseball. I don't know that they played that much, but he relished the game in every respect.
We were on a vacation for a family reunion and all of us were, in the most part, headed for that. We heard that Father had passed away after we were on our way. The thought occurs to you of an old man by himself dying by himself. I think we really don't look at him, my father, or anybody else in the context of themselves alone, but in the context of the family. And yet, I guess, no matter how big our family grows, at some point we have to die all by ourselves, and be responsible for ourselves.
I never recall our parents ever preaching to us. I never heard any lectures from my parents. We saw example, and we saw expectation. If ever there was a handle to control our behavior I think it was shame. Dad was a fourth generation Mormon, born in 1902. And so there was a lot of cultural expectation for him. He was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. He attended his priesthood meetings and all of his church meetings. As far as I know his tithing was always paid. Fast offerings were always paid. There was always an expectation of honor in our home and for us. He was a faithful home teacher. In all of these principles, his children followed after him. I think that comes from generations of people that are faithful obeyors of the basic principles of the gospel. And he was certainly that kind of a man. And if one of us decided to walk against those principles, we'd certainly have to swim upstream, because I didn't even know of an aunt or uncle who did. Those were the expectations, and that's what we did.
In matters of taste, we differed from each other from time to time. Dad liked cows. He liked to milk them. He just liked cows. He would have liked us to stay around and help him milk those cows. None of us did. In fact we made sure we didn't. And that's one thing he would have liked us to do. But I don't feel any guilt about that. I decided that's a matter of taste, and that's a decision I had to make.
But I'd like to honor my parents my father and my mother, my grandparents and great grandparents that I never met, for the culture of obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think it made it easier for our parents to pass it on to us, and for us to pass it on to the next generation. There's a little continuum that takes place from generations of righteousness.
I'd like to personally thank all of you for attending this funeral. I consider it a personal gift from you to me and also extend that to the rest of our family, for honoring our father. I express these thoughts in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Speaker: Stephen Rawlins, son.
Six weeks after being married Mom wrote in her journal, "We are wonderfully happy, though we haven't much other than love. But that indeed is priceless, and with it we are rich."
Then the depression struck, as Helen has said. They had a very difficult time. Three major setbacks took their toll on their relationship. They bought some land in Lewiston, Utah and moved a small house onto it, struggling to find work to make the payments. And after they had put everything into it that they had, the mortgage company foreclosed, and they lost everything.
Next, after struggling to keep alive, with Dad living and working away from home most of the time, they moved to White Bluffs, and there they bought another farm, planted fruit trees and began to prosper. Here, as Helen has said, fate stepped in again. After four short years they were displaced to make way for the Hanford Atomic Energy Project, with essentially the same consequences. Some people would have received more for their crop of cherries had they been able to stay and pick them than they did for their entire farm and home.
They moved to Walla Walla. Both of them worked hard, in the canneries and wherever they could find work and saved up a little to put a down payment on another small farm. It seemed like they were turning the corner to some prosperity, when Dad had a serious tractor accident that left him without a leg and nearly took his life. Had he not had the presence of mind to grab some baling wire to make a makeshift tourniquet, he most certainly would have bled to death there on the ground. It was a long recovery. He was still a young man of about 46, but this setback seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back. It seemed to break his spirit, and he essentially took early retirement, except for raising a few cows, some grapes a garden and some raspberries.
These setbacks not only took their toll on Mom and Dad financially, but on their relationship with each other, unfortunately. Mom came through this with a lot of bitterness, and much of it seemed to be directed toward Dad. We were very young and didn't know what was happening. But she became the family communicator to the children. She once said that she and Dad together made a pretty good radio. He was an aerial and she was a loud speaker. She was the communicator. I felt, in many ways, a competition between Mom and Dad for our love. Mom was a vital fun woman to be with, but seemed to resent any positive relationship we had with Dad. He gradually seemed to retire to the background. Soon after Dad's accident I left home for school, and lived away from home and really never returned there except on brief visits. But Mom continued to be the communication link with tapes, phone calls and letters.
It was only after Mom's passing in 1991 that I received my first phone call from Dad. He called me in Maryland every Saturday morning, just like Aunt Mae. I've come to know in these few short years that Dad always loved us deeply, but found it difficult to express this love to us. He was never selfish. He generously shared whatever he had, however little that might be, appreciated anything we did for him. He was not demanding. As most of you who have known him here in the Tri-Cities realize, he was pleasant to be with.
Although Mom and Dad had their personal difficulties, both were steadfast to the principles of the gospel. In looking through some old records I found tithing receipts from 1933 filled out by Dad each month. Sometimes it was as much as $5.00 sometimes less. If you know the amount of tithing my parents paid, you know their income. You simply multiply by ten. No matter how small their income was, tithing was always paid first. I never had the slightest question about either of them failing to live the word of wisdom, or any other basic principle of the Gospel. They led clean lives. They both had firm testimonies and lived their personal lives in accordance with their convictions
Dad was unable to provide many material things for his children, but he provided something, that I now realize, was far more valuable a rock firm example of living the principles of the Gospel.
In the August, 1997 issue of the Ensign, President Hinckley states: "Death is a part of life. It is a fundamental, basic part of our eternal lives. We can't go on with the great work that lies ahead without stepping over the threshold of death, sorrowful as it is for those who remain, I am satisfied that it is a beautiful experience for those who make that step, who have lived lives of righteousness and faithfulness." Elder M. Russell Ballard is quoted in the May 1996 issue of the Ensign as stating, "Life isn't over for a Latter-day Saint until he or she is safely dead, with their testimony still burning brightly".
Safely dead with your testimony burning brightly after living a life of righteousness and faithfulness. What a challenging concept. What an example of this concept we have seen demonstrated by this good man lying before us today. The physical and emotional limitations of this life have been transcended and he, his wife, our little daughter, his parents and brothers and sister are now reunited, and they have learned what is required, I am sure by now, to be happy together. I look forward to spending eternity with them, and particularly getting to experience more fully the love that I know my father has always had for me. I pray that I might live my life in such a way that I qualify to be with them, and that I may learn to express my love to my father as well.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Speaker: Bruce Rawlins, son
Dad was born and grew up in an entirely different world than what he passed away from. As has been mentioned, he was born and raised on the homestead of his grandfather built a home. He lived with them. His grandmother didn't pass away until he was eighteen years old. It was his job as the oldest son to help take of the grandparents. He knew them well. As has been mentioned, these phone calls that came on Saturday morning, I got the first one, and I was on the same time zone as him. We appreciated those so much because I've been able to know these great grandparents that I never met, almost personally. Dad knew them well enough that I could ask him most any question and he would know the answer as if she were there. Keep in mind that these two knew Joseph Smith personally. (Come on in, grandkids. They have been coming from southern Oregon, and they have had a few car problems.) But Dad answered these questions almost as though grandmother were there, and they witnessed Joseph Smith and Brigham Young personally, and knew them. And so the history that most of us read about that is one hundred and fifty years old I have tape recorded and have these conversations second hand through Dad. And that has been a great thing.
I think it is very difficult for us to imagine the world he lived in, especially for our kids. A place where no television or radio, no tractors or cars where he was, no paved roads, no airplanes, no unemployment. If you wanted some bread you grew the grain and took it to the granary and got what Dad called a grist, which I guess was a credit. I've gone with my uncles to the grist mill and picked up bags of flour that they had coming. As they needed them they picked them up. Grandma made bread, and that's the way we got bread. We didn't go to the store. From the store we got a few basic things, salt, sugar, thread, buttons and a few things like that.
As has been mentioned, Dad and Mother, when they were married, had a couple of years of prosperous times before the Great Depression and Bruce Rawlins came. I was there first, and the depression followed soon after. Prices went down so low. They had been making payments on their little farm easily, and all of a sudden they couldn't make them. Not seeing the future, as we can't see the future, they thought this would be short-lived, and they began sells Dad's little herd of cows, one by one, and shortly lost everything. The only thing they reclaimed from that was a little two-roomed house that we moved to our grandparents.
I've had conversations and overheard conversations with my dad that give a little idea of what that depression was like. I only remember a few things. I remember him talking with some friends, and they were hoping to find jobs, and if they could find one they could get fifty cents a day and maybe even as much as a dollar. I remember one job Dad had for thirty dollars a month, but he was expected to be on duty six days a week, twenty four hours a day. I remember a conversation with a man who said I don't think I can afford to harvest my potatoes at ten cents a hundred, not ten cents a pound, but ten cents a hundred pounds.
And so since I have Aerial Rawlins blood in me I find that I perform at my worst when I am frustrated. I think that Dad had a few frustrating moments in his life as he tried to provide for us. But he taught me a lot of lessons. It was easy to learn how to work. There was no make-up work. There was no thing that was made up for a job just to keep me busy. I milked old Cherry Blossom night and morning because our family needed milk, and Dad wasn't home. My uncles weren't going to do it. They had their own cows to milk. And so this was the backup that we had if your crops failed or if you didn't have work. In those days it wasn't against the law to be hungry. Your friends and your relatives might help you if they had ability, but there was no other backup. And you could be hungry.
Wood was the heat that we had, or the energy we had for fuel for both heat and for cooking. I remember Dad taking me with his brothers up into the mountains to get some large logs that would become the winter's fuel supply. These would be cut up with a drag saw and a splitting ax. Dad loved to cut wood, as has been mentioned. And I learned to love to cut wood. He bought me a little ax about that time, and I still use that.
My uncles put up hay with a derrick and a Jackson fork. They made stacks of hay that would preserve it through the winter. And I don't know how it came about, but somehow Dad got me a miniature derrick and a Jackson fork. And it all worked. And so I learned to make hay before I got to go out and work with the big equipment. He didn't send me to church, he took me to church, and I appreciate that. When we lived in White Bluffs he was my Sunday School teacher for a time. He made those Book of Mormon stories live. He loved them, and it was obvious the way he taught. I know that my dad loved cattle and he loved the farm, but I think that he should have been a teacher . . .[Some missing here while the tape was turned over.]
. . .I remember one time when my dad was working at the sugar factory in Lewiston, and he got home late after dark. And he gotten to know my mother. He would understand what we were doing. This was April's fools day coming up, and I don't know if Claude was involved, but I remember Steve and I helped her. I was about six, maybe, and Steve three. We helped her make some chocolate that were Fels Naptha, which is soap, centers, with chocolate over it, and they looked good. We even made peanut clusters the same way. We put them in the refrigerator and laid awake until Dad came home. We heard the refrigerator door open. It stayed open quite a while, and I think he would have eaten one except someone snickered and the door closed. But we laid awake a long time waiting for that.
I think my earliest memory is of Mother and Dad taking me to my grandparents home when we lived on the little farm in the winter. Over the top of the fences on the crusted snow. Sometimes they would pull me on the little sled, but if I fell off too many times then Dad would put me on his shoulders. I remember feeling his ear lobes. Those are some of the earliest memories I had. He taught me to fish. He and his friend, Jim Taggart would go, to I think the Cub River (somebody who knows the lay of the land would know better), but one time they took me. Fishing gear in that day wasn't very complicated. It was a long thin pole with a line tied to the end, and a hook and a worm. It was my first time. Jim caught two fish. Dad caught one, and I caught five.
Claude was wondering why Dad liked baseball. In these conversations I had every time I'd ask him "What did you kids do to have fun?", that was the only answer baseball. He played with them. My mother played with them. The whole neighborhood played baseball. He told about school. The school didn't provide any baseball, but the kids would save up their pennies and they'd buy a baseball at the beginning of the season. That was the only one they had. If it went out of the field, everything stopped until they found it, because that was all there was. By the end of the season it got pretty odd shaped, and by that time it had been to several homes and mothers would sew it back together. So he has a love for baseball.
He was original in his language. One of my brothers was coming back from the barn with a bucket of milk from old Pet, or whichever cow we had then, and he spilled the milk. And thus became known that night in the Rawlins tradition, the name "slobber foot." I don't know as I've ever head that anywhere else.
I'm convinced that parenthood is temporary godhood. All of us demonstrate in our daily actions and thoughts to ourselves and to our Heavenly Father how we feel about that great principle. If we are able to have the greatest blessings that God has, it will be because we have parents, not temporary parents, but eternal parents. If we are wise as children, no matter what our age, we will do everything we can to help our parents qualify as eternal parents. I once did a wise thing. And it's rare enough that I think I need to report it to you. A few years ago I was struggling as a would-be good father, and I needed some help. I got to thinking I need a Father's blessing. But I don't ever recall that my father ever gave one. So I called him up and talked to him about it, and he said, "I'll think about it." And so several months later he was in my home, and I asked him if he had thought about it. He said yes. And I got my blessing. We recorded it and we transcribed it. I have referred to it many times, and will yet. I got my blessing and he got to give a blessing.
Dad spent nearly ninety five years on the earth. And as I think about some of the things we know that spirits have existed a long time, perhaps billions of years but we have no memory of that. We consider such things as the Lord has had recorded in the Book of Ether, "I give unto man weakness that they may become humble before me." I also remember another prophet who told the wives, be patient with your husbands. If you help exalt him you will be well pleased with the result. When I consider these things, I can see that I don't know very much about Aerial Rawlins, even though I have known him longer than most. Aunt Mae and a few friends knew him before I did. I feel I know him very little. My great desire is that I may qualify to find out who this man is, and what he has done. And not just as an interesting person, but as my Dad. My prayer is that we may all learn from these things, and that this day has been a blessing to us. And I say it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Three elements combine to make these kinds of meetings like no other meetings: The doctrines of the gospel, the spirit of inspiration, and families gathered in tender regard for one another. And I think that has been exhibited today. I would like to express the thanks for all of us, and for myself personally, to the family and friends and loved ones of Aerial Rawlins for making this an opportunity where we could be edified, and sanctified and learn and reflect. It has been a special occasion. I would like to thank those who participated in these services this day shared their musical talents and their memories with us. For those who have made arrangements from the funeral home. For those who prepared the printed program. For the preparations that went behind the scenes by many, Tami Rawlins, the Kennewick Ninth Ward Relief Society. I wish also to excuse Bishop Young who sends his regards as well. The scriptures speak of corruption and being raised in incorruption. This being the days of probation, the time when we can be raised in mortality unto eternal life through righteousness. And indeed this is the Lord's purpose that we can have immortality and eternal life. We have reflected on and talked about this birth that we call death, in a fashion it is a celebration for Brother Aerial Rawlins. It reminds us of our own mortality. Of our probation, and why we are here upon this earth. It is my testimony that Aerial Rawlins lives. That his spirit is where the Lord would have him to be right now. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has made this possible. The Plan of Salvation is real. We are blessed by his life and by these memories, and by the Savior's resurrection and His atonement. And may we reflect and remember on these things throughout all of our lives, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
We will sing a congregational hymn, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, page 136, Sister Tami Rawlins conducting. The benediction will be offered by Sister Vergie Rawlins. Following the benediction there will be preparation to go to the burial at the Desert Lawn Memorial Park. Family members and friends are invited following that extension of this service are invited back to the church house for a luncheon.
Congregational Hymn: I Know That My Redeemer Lives.
Benediction: Vergie Rawlins, daughter in-law.
Our dear kind Heavenly Father. As we conclude this funeral service for thy son Aerial A. Rawlins, we are so grateful for the knowledge that we have that our Redeemer lives. For the many blessings that we have been blessed with in this life. To been able to embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and know how to choose right from wrong. We are grateful for the example that Aerial has set for all of us. And for all those who come after him. For his steadfastness in the Gospel, his faithfulness to thee and to his children. We are so grateful for the Plan of Salvation, that we can all be together again. We ask thy blessings to be with each of us this day, regardless of our relationship to him, but to our relationship to thee as children of Thee. That we may all gain the testimonies that we need to do what is right to return to Thee. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Piano Postlude: O My Father, Karen Rawlins
Dedication of the grave: James E. Knopf, son in-law.