Summary: A funeral sermon for a great saint.

Thurman Lucy

By: Reverend Kenneth E. Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News,VA

Thurman Lucy did a lot of reading—especially of the Bible and other books on Christianity.

And his mind was so sharp…

Ovella, you told me yesterday that Thurman could stand up and teach the Bible as if he had been there himself…

…and I witnessed this my first Sunday as Pastor of this church a little over three and a half years ago.

For on that first Sunday, I sat in on Thurman’s Sunday school class.

My goodness he was good.

I knew right from the start that I had been appointed to a very biblically literate congregation—and I was excited!

Thurman, along with his good friend Walter Goode…who passed away this past December…shared the responsibilities of teaching one of our Adult Sunday school classes.

I am told that Sunday nights, Thurman would begin working on his Sunday school lesson for the following Sunday…reading his Bible and the Lesson Book.

Oftentimes Walter would come over to Thurman and Ovella’s home and they would talk and talk and talk.

I would imagine that Thurman and Walter are doing just that right now.

Thurman was a Bulwark of this congregation, and he will be greatly missed.

One of our newer members has told me on several occasions that Thurman Lucy was the first person to welcome her when she walked through these doors…

…and I would imagine that over the many, many years that Thurman has been a member of Parkview United Methodist Church…

…there are countless folks who could say the same thing.

Thurman was very supportive of all the pastors who have served this church, and perhaps that has something to do with why Pastor Oliver Brook felt that Mr. Lucy would make a great mate for Ovella.

Ovella’s first husband…Mr. Rilee pasted away from a heart attack at the young age of 46…

…and Ovella was raising three girls.

Ovella didn’t know Thurman before Pastor Brook introduced them, but she had noticed him…during a worship service.

The congregation was standing, singing a hymn, and Ovella heard Thurman and a friend of his singing…

…as Ovella told me yesterday…

…she turned around to see who those two ‘frogs’ were singing behind her.

So after Pastor Brooks introduced them, Betty and Kathy egged Ovella on.

“There’s Mr. Lucy,” you would tell your mother, “Make sure and wave to him.”

And when Ovella and Thurman were dating, the girls would sneak downstairs to see what they were up to.

I’m told that Thurman was a very courageous man, in that when he and Ovella married, he moved into a ready-made family with three girls.

But this is what the girls wanted.

Then Thurman and Ovella were blessed to have Billy come along.

Billy, you loved talking with your dad about car racing.

Thurman was a big race fan.

And your dad also taught you a lot about cars, and how to work on them…

…a very important thing to know.

Thurman enjoyed cars so much that after retiring from NASA after 31 years…

…he went to work for Suttle Motors…

…and even up to this past June…

…right before Thurman learned that he had cancer, he was driving dealer exchange cars for Casey Chevrolet.

Thurman was doing all that driving at 89 years of age…

…of course as you all know…

…Thurman didn’t look 89…

…and I’m told that Casey Chevrolet never asked Thurman how old he was, and that Thurman never told them.

Now, even though Thurman loved car racing, driving and cars in general…

…his kids tell me that he never really was all that great of a driver—even when he was young—because Thurman would do so much tailgating.

Thurman did a lot of tailgating…of another kind as well…

…Thurman tailgated his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I’m told that Thurman never said anything to hurt Ovella’s feelings, nor the children’s.

But, being a good engineer, Thurman did take his time deciding on an answer to a question.

For example, Betty, you would ask Thurman if you could use the car…

…and the answer would come, maybe 20 minutes later.

Not only did Thurman ‘wow’ his immediate family, but you Lori, told me yesterday that you feel this loss—as a daughter-in-law as deeply as the rest of the family.

Lori told me: “Many times you accept your in-laws because they are your in-laws…

…but I truly think of Thurman and Ovella as my parents…they are the best in-laws….”

Of course, when you said: “Ovella’s like my mother…”…

… Ovella, you automatically replied, “She’s like my daughter.”

Thurman also became very close to your mother—Ovella.

I understand that Thurman prayed for your mother at every meal—which was three times a day.

And Thurman’s before meal prayers were not your average “grace” prayers.

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Revd. Martin Dale

commented on Feb 7, 2018

As an Anglican vicar I have taken many funerals. Some tell me things like: He didn't go to church and didn't believe in God but he was a great Christian and I want to tell them that they are talking rubbish but while they are grieving is not the time. I have only once had the privilege in 17 years of preaching at so committed a Christian's funeral Thurman Lucy's and what a privilege that was. Bill Arnold had a really deep faith and loved the Lord deeply and it was a privilege to speak at his funeral. His wife and children knew the Lord and were able to articulate his faith and I had had time as the new minister in New Romney to have met and talked with him. So why am I writing to you? To thank you for posting this encouraging funeral talk on the last day of the Pilgrimage that I am leading on the Holy Land (08-02-2018). Thank you brothr. Martin

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