It’s freaky how quickly and dramatically things can change course. Less than a week ago, Sherry and I were planning ways to celebrate my dad’s 85th birthday on Saturday, November 17, including having some beer and shooting some pool, his favorite sport.
Unfortunately, everything changed, when I received a call this past Sunday morning from his wife, Margie, alerting me to the fact that he was in the hospital in Rogers, suffering from serious heart, lung and kidney problems, which may have been side effects from recent surgery on his left knee. When we visited with him on Sunday and Tuesday, he was in good spirits and he was looking forward to getting out and having a birthday party.
Wednesday morning’s call to his nurse was promising and Sherry went out shopping for gifts and items for his party. However, a few hours later, Margie and his doctor called me and told me to get to Rogers ASAP because his heart was failing and he wasn’t expected to make it through the night. He was alert and lucid when we arrived and he seemed to understand and accept what was happening.
With family and friends around him, he took his last breath at exactly 7:30 pm on Wednesday, November 14, 2012. It was my very first time being with anyone who was dying, but everyone acknowledged it was a very peaceful passing. He had a very diverse and interesting life and is sorely missed by everyone who had a chance to meet him.
The official obituary that was faxed to us from the funeral home. Their posted version.
Memorial services were at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 17 at Stockdale Funeral in Rogers, with viewing and visitation from 10 – 11 AM.
Photos taken by Sherry before and during the service can be seen in this Picasa album.
Videos taken by Sherry during the service:
Paula Finch’s opening song
Amazing Grace, sung by Paul Finch
Casket flag being folded by American Legion representatives
John Howard (Hershey Jack) Kerstetter
Born: November 17, 1927 in Shamokin, Pennsylvania
Died: November 14, 2012 in Rogers, Arkansas