I worked for Glynn Carpenter from 1969 until 2003, minus one year when I went to seek my fortune elsewhere. Thank goodness, it was not to be found elsewhere, and I was hired back at the co-op. He retired in 2003 and he and his wife Mildred moved to Booneville, where their son lives. Over the years they made many trips back to the eastern part of Arkansas to visit old friends, go to annual meetings of the co-op, Christmas banquets. I think he attended all the directors' conferences after he left, held at various places over the state. He maintained friendships in Washington, D. C., as well. He was rich in friends.
Mr. C. went home to be with the Lord on Valentine's Day. It was imminent, yet we are not ready for the home goings. As his nephew said at his funeral yesterday, this earth is what we know, and we can't imagine how glorious Heaven will be. But "Uncle Poe" as he was affectionately known by to relatives had fulfilled God's mission for his life here on this planet and was ready for him to go home. Proverbs 18:24 was a Scripture that Reverend Carlton White read in remembrance of his Uncle Poe: "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
Paul, Richard and I traveled to Hamburg, their hometown, for the funeral. It's a four-hour drive, but it seemed fast because we had lots to talk about and catching up to do. I'm so thankful Paul drove - I just couldn't have managed driving that long - 8-hour round-trip - in one day. Paul thought a lot of Mr. C., too, and Mr. C. always asked about him and Amy.
There were at least 30 Woodruff Electric employees and some spouses, as well as several directors there; people from other co-ops. So wonderful to see so many - Alice, Ouida, Neal, Debbie, Ernestine, Dave, Tammy.
I'm thankful I got to work for Mr. C. as long as I did - he was always all about getting the work done, but he always made sure we had opportunities to travel, make friends in other states, at other cooperatives, even in Washington, D. C. Oh, those long walking tours! But how much we got to see and do! The handkerchief "hat" he fashioned to keep the sun off his head when he forgot his hat. He made sure we had good things to eat, had free time, yet opportunities to see how government works - tours of the US capitol, even a White House tour many years ago before security got so very tight and it was easier. Generous, gentle, firm. His favorite pet names for all of us - girls or boys - "Joe," and the girls - "Sunshine." One of his favorite phrases in letters he would dictate or handwrite for me to type: "I cherish your friendship."
I cherish yours, Mr. C. I cherish the friendship of all your family.