To All our Dear Ones:
We want to let you know how much we appreciate your care, flowers, gifts, messages and support throughout this season of our lives. These are all illustrations of the love that defined our precious Mother, Jo Ludwick. Additionally we wanted to share with you our tributes that we gave at the service honoring her life. Thank you for being such a treasure to Mom and to us throughout all of these years. She loved you dearly…and so do we.
In Christ, her daughters,
June Rawlins and Valerie Willman
By June Rawlins: I shared the following at Mom's memorial service:
Although it is difficult to convey through words sentiments and thoughts of my lovely Mom, I want to share with you a few "windows of time" which will give you a glimpse of some of the precious moments of Mom and her life.
Very early in my life, Mom would gather Val and I into the car to visit the little community church in our hometown. I can remember loving to go to the Sunday School classes for preschoolers. The dear sisters who cared for us had such a fragrance of Christ emanating from their hearts... It seemed to me that no matter how naughty some of us were, they cared for each of us in the Lord with such tenderness. My heart never forgot that fragrance. Eventually, the lovely fragrance led me to receive the Lord when I was twelve. I will be eternally grateful for those early experiences of the Lord.
The next "window of time" occurred much later in my life. My family and I were visiting Mom and Dad's beautiful home in Bandon one summer. We had said good night and headed to bed in the apartment connected to their home. Fortunately, I had forgotten something in the main house and went to retrieve it. As I looked quietly around the kitchen corner, I saw my Mom and Dad quietly holding hands in the darkened living room. The simplicity of their enjoying each other's presence was very touching. My Mom and Dad loved each other, and I walked away so full of thanks for that.
A few more memories which I'd like to share with you are from my time with Mom after her recent stroke while she was in the Portland hospital. One of the days Val and I were there, she was sound asleep. Unknowingly, I was holding her hand and stroking her arm when she awoke. Her immediate response was, "It's okay, June." What should have been consolation on my end originated from her! The other notable memory at the hospital was when she awoke from a deep sleep and instantly began praying for everyone who was in her heart as well as thanking the Lord.
Mom didn't pray out of a sense of duty... She loved to pray. May the Lord grant us such a heart which is always praying in union with Him. Thank you Mom, for such a habit of prayer.
I hope these few words convey a touch of my beloved Mom to you. I love you, Mom... always and forever.
My tribute to Mom: By Valerie Willman
Grandma Hannon once told me that when my mother was a little girl, she would push around a baby buggy with her dolly in it, playing mommy. The desire of Mom's heart has always been to be a wife and mother. It was her calling and she did it with excellence. In doing so, she taught me many lessons that became foundations for my life. I want to share a few today.
The first couple years of my life I was very sick with something the doctors could not figure out. I was constantly going to medical clinics to get medications and shots, until one day when my desperate mother said to the doctor, "Are you just going to let her die?" That very day, my Father flew me to the University Hospital in Seattle, where they quickly diagnosed and treated the problem. Later in my life when I spoke with Mom about how difficult it must have been for her, she just said, "It wasn't your fault. Of course I would take care of you!" Her merciful compassion and forgiving spirit gave me much to aspire to.
One day when I was in kindergarten, I found a little piano pin on the playground. I brought it home and excitedly showed it to Mom. She immediately said, "Somebody must have lost that. You need to bring it to your teacher." Needless to say, I was not happy about it, but I turned the pin over to my teacher. She put it into her desk saying that if nobody claimed it after two weeks, then I could have it. My mother taught me a lot about honesty and integrity by the way she handled this...and I still have the little piano pin to this day.
Mom loved contributing. She joined the parent-teacher association, frequently baking cookies and bringing in treats for the school staff, as well as my classmates. She was regularly spotted running across Jason Lee School grounds, bringing something wonderful to share. I still remember my happy classmates excitedly announcing, "Here comes Mrs. Ludwick!" She was my Blue Bird and Camp Fire Leader. Everyone loved her with her incredible craft projects, games, food and fun, along with lessons in life. Mom never stopped bringing treats to people around her. She took plates loaded with goodies to the local nursing home, her church and friends. Through all of this, Mom skillfully taught me about the art of giving generously and serving others.
When I was in 5-6th grade, my teachers decided that a good way to get excessively chatty Val under control was to require me to run laps around the playground. Our wonderfully large front window faced the school grounds. I remember my mother looking out of the window, and upon recognizing me, smiling and waving to her dear daughter...and then realizing that I was the only one out there. She would put her hands on her hips and wag her finger at me, reinforcing the message that I was in trouble. Her first reaction was always loving and assuming the best and...she did not shy away from appropriate disciplining!
Speaking of discipline, I recall fearfully yet fondly, my loving, caring mother threatening to get her SPATULA when we were misbehaving!! Our beautiful, large home was constructed in such a way that it allowed a lap pattern as we would run from room to room, down hallways, and around and around, until my poor mother would run out of gas. I actually recall that most always, by the time that happened, she would be laughing, and those strikes with the spatula never amounted to much. My mother loved fun, laughed easily, and forgave quickly, characteristics I will always treasure.
Mom was an incredible homemaker. She loved her fabulous, unique home that Daddy provided for her, and always kept it clean and sparkling. She somehow managed to preserve the white rug and white furniture in our front living room, throughout our childhood days. Through her care of our home, I learned to appreciate and take care of the material things God Blesses me with.
She was an incredible cook who loved to feed everyone. She entertained with style and grace, always making sure everyone was taken care of. She was an expert picnicker, stuffing the cooler with all our favorites. Mom most definitely had the gift of hospitality, loving and serving others.
Mom was our biggest cheerleader! She came to most all our dance, hula, swimming, and twirling practices and performances over the years. At our twirling competitions she would look for pennies for good luck. She wouldn't stop until she found one for both June and me...always equality. Through her support, encouragement and love, she taught me the value of coming alongside others.
Twirling has been a very big part of our lives. Mom's role frequently included packing food, sewing costumes, cleaning and polishing shoes, and a very important job of hair brushing. In order for us to perform the intricate movements and spins required in baton routines, our long hair had to be secured on the top of our heads. ONE time she did not come to a Regional competition. June and I did our very best to get ready for our performances, but prior to one of my routines, I forgot to fasten the hook at the top of my costume, and brush and hairspray up the straggling hairs from my neck. The dangling hair latched itself onto the hook three times during that performance, eventually rendering me powerless to continue twirling. I finally tucked my baton between my legs and ripped my hair out of the hook. Needless to say I did not make the finals in that contest. Even in her absence, Mom taught me it takes everyone using their giftings and working together in life. She gave me an appreciation encouraged in the Bible, to honor everyone: Even behind the scenes contributions are valuable and important.
She never missed a birthday, anniversary or reason to celebrate. My parties were the envy of all my friends. One birthday I asked for her to make me a gooseberry pie-cake. Where I got that idea from eludes me, but wouldn't you know, Mom made a gooseberry pie-cake to die for! Even when I was in college, she would send care packages, cards, etc. My mother's efforts taught me that I was valuable and worth celebrating.
Jo Ludwick was a faithful wife through 64 years of marriage. She never wavered in her love and support for my father or us. We went through many trials that life will inevitably bring, yet through it all, she demonstrated her love through long suffering. I treasure this part of Mom's character the most, because of Mark's and my trials. By the grace of God and the modeling of commitment by Mom and Dad, Mark and I remained married after a two and a half year separation. I will be forever grateful and reap the benefits from my Mother's steadfast loyalty and dedication.
Mom never gave up; even in her final days she FOUGHT to remain with us. One of the last things that she said while stretching her arms out to us was, "I love you ALL!" She gave it everything she had....even hanging on in the final day, until we all went home...on Father's Day. Daddy recognized this as her final gift to him.
Her character, faith and love came through even with the limitations. She was beautiful, inside and out, throughout her life here on Earth.
I want to conclude by sharing something Mom related in a Bible study group one day when we were talking about Salvation. She described a time in her early childhood when she was attending Sunday school. She kept opening her mouth and pointing inside, asking everyone, "What do you see?" Her teacher finally asked her what she expected to be found in there. Mom said, "Do you see Jesus? Is Jesus in there?" (Mom had been taught that Jesus was inside of her, and she was just checking to be sure it was true.)
Yes, Momma, Jesus is, was, and always will be in YOU. Mom, I truly want to be more like you.
Please join me in singing one of Mom's favorites: Jesus Loves Me.
Welcome & Introduction
Thank you for coming to the celebration of the life of Josephine Ludwick. On behalf of Don, Val and myself, Mark Willman and June and Darryl, we welcome you, especially those of you who came from a long way. I am honored to help the family officiate the service. We, as their children, desire to honor Don and Jo, as God commanded us and this service is to honor Jo. This is what we will do, read scriptures, pray, the family will give their tribute; I will read more scriptures and give my eulogy. We will end with more prayer and scriptures. That will be the extent of the service.
The first scripture God gave me was from Isaiah 40:6–8, because Jo reminds me of a flower:
6The voice said, “Cry out!”
And he said, “What shall I cry?”
“All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”
Please join me in a prayer. Lord, we pray for those who are bereaved and grieving the loss of Jo. Lord, please comfort us and guide us through this service and next season of our lives.
God gave us Jesus out of His grace:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
Jo believed this gift of grace and it was not because of anything she did.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
And by her faith in Jesus and by her words that Jesus is her Lord, she is in heaven.
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Because of God’s gift of Jesus and Jo’s faith in Him, she is saved from hell and saved for heaven.
Now brief a family tribute:
God gave me the following scriptures near the time of Jo’s death that reminded me of her:
Song of Solomon 2:1-4
1I am the rose of Sharon,
And the lily of the valleys.
2 Like a lily among thorns,
So is my love among the daughters.
3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods,
So is my beloved among the sons.
I sat down in his shade with great delight,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
4 He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.
You see, Jo is like the “lily of the valleys” and her love extends to “among the daughters”.
Her “beloved” is Don and “his banner” over Jo “was love”. God’s banner over her is love as it is for us all.
In another scripture, as I was with Jo, the Lord pointed me to:
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Jo walked in the Spirit and displayed the fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus said (Matt 7:16 & 20) “You will know them by their fruit” and “By their fruit you will know them”.
These are the fruit that Jo displayed.
Righteous, good and kind. She intentionally made an effort to pursue what is good for other people.
Simple in faith as we heard from Don.
Honest as told by Val.
Strong. She would carry heavy coolers for picnics. She would squeeze our hands with a firm grip as we comforted her in her final days. In fact we believe she “hung on” until father’s day was over. A few hours after we left, she passed away. Don believed she gave him that as a “final present”.
Frugal/Generous. She would hesitate to buy anything of high value for herself but she always slipping me money for special events (birthdays, celebrations, holidays).
Sweet. The nurses that helped take care of her mentioned that she was sweet. We witnessed her sweet responses as they poked and prodded her in the hospital and nursing home.
Loving. Every Sunday when we would call Val’s parents, she would always say “Oh, how wonderful it is to hear your voices”. That felt so loving to me!
Caring - especially for kids. She would spot a child and look how to care for them. In one case, Don told me she spotted a dime on the floor of a store, picked it up and gave it to a kid nearby saying it “belongs to you”. In times when she needed to or was asked, she did tasks she was not used to doing, like paying the bills when Don couldn’t.
Compassionate. She was always relating to what anyone was going through being very empathetic.
Elegant Lady. She was, as one of her nephews said “elegant”. She had class with pride, yet was humble. As Don said earlier, she was a “lady”.
Faithful. This faith was exemplified by the story we heard from June and Don
Beautiful. Combining these all together, she was beautiful.
Finally, I would like to give you a vision of where she is now – enjoying the rewards given to her by the Lord for her work here on earth. In many places in the Bible, we are reminded we will be rewarded for what we do here. Heaven is not the reward; it is the gift of salvation. I believe Jo will be enjoying beautiful colors, magnificent flowers beyond description, in awe of the jewels in the walls of heaven and the streets of gold. She will be serving others as a host and others will be serving her. She will be greeted by friends and family who have gone before her, talking with them and waiting to greet Don and others when he/they goes/get to heaven. I know Don will be going to heaven. She will have understanding of all the things she did not understand before. Jo will be enjoying her new body – no pain. She will have peace that is hard to describe, There will be conversations with Jesus just as she did here on earth in her prayers. Finally, there will be the wonderful worship and the music all in unison she will enjoy – worshipping the Lord. Like the hymn we sang in her last days and which she joined us as she woke from her rest “He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands”.
Finally, please join me in the reading of her favorite Bible verse from your program - Psalm 23.
Now, to end the service, let me give you a blessing I think she would want you to have. I found this in her Bible and blessed her with it.
24The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Dismissal. Kelly White (Amling-Schroeder Funeral Home). “This concludes our service. The family would like to express their appreciation for you attending”