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Friday, August 7, 2009

Remembering Millard

Millard Posthuma 1916 -2009

Heaven centered living provides own eulogy.

I have recently discovered that there is a new blog carnival for Christian men. When I think of Christian men, I think of Dr. Millard Posthuma. So I am going to submit this post to the innaugural edition of the carnival. If they accept it instead of reading this sentence you will see a link to their carnival.
I first met Millard Posthuma at a prayer meeting on my university campus in 1990. Until he started attending regularly, I, at 24, was the oldest person at the meetings. Millard, then 74, changed all that. The retired surgeon was the father in law of our campus group's faculty advisor.

I remember one of the first conversations I had with Millard. I recognized his last name and asked him if he was related to Dan Posthuma who produced contemporary Christian music albums (Margaret Becker, Julie Miller among others.) It turns out that he was Dan's father. I followed that up with some question of how he must be proud to have such a famous son. His response was that he was very glad that all his children loved Jesus and were following Him.

Now, please don't imagine that comment coming as a rebuke. It was said with the same graciousness he said everything with. I am not sure that I have ever met as kind of a person before or since I met Millard. He was a regular at our prayer meetings and often attended and many times sang at our weekly meetings.

He was also the most active man in his seventies I ever met. He had a spry step and was involved in a plethora of activities: Rotary, Gideons, Pro Life rallies, etc. Anyone who has the caricature of an anti-abortion protester as a hate spewing unmerciful hypocrite in their mind, has never heard Millard present the Pro Life message. He gently stood up for the unborn fetus and used his medical background to provide evidence of where conception begins.

Millard had a great deal of influence on people my age. A friend 5 years my senior became involved in the Rotary because of Millard's leading. Another friend 5 years my junior had him as a groomsman in his wedding. A twenty two year old with a 76 year old groomsman! After I graduated in 1992 I spent two years as a missionary in Russia. Millard sent me a an encouraging letter while I was there mentioning meeting Russians when he was in WWII.

Most of all, I remember Millard loved his wife. He was always so tender and protective of her. I never heard him say one disparaging word about her. If you talked to Millard for 5 minutes, you would know 3 things about him 1: Jesus was his Savior, 2: He loved his wife and 3: He was genuinely interested in you.

When I was a younger man I read many books about dating, love, and marriage. One thing I read that stuck with me was: don't visit friends and relatives on your honeymoon. When Amy and I married in 1998 we honeymooned in the Smoky Mountains. We flew from Chicago to Louisville, Ky and drove to the Smokies. On the last day of our honeymoon we spent the day with Millard and Trudy in Louisville, where they had recently moved to. It was one piece of advice I am so glad I ignored. We had a wonderful visit, the couple married 1 week and the other married 57 years. It also turned out to be the last time we would see Millard alive. I found out a few weeks ago that he had passed away on May 31, 2009.

There is so much I would like you to know about Millard. I could start with his obituary, there are some things that I didn't even know. I knew he was in WWII but I had no idea that he was seriously injured in the Battle of the Bulge. Near the end of his life, Millard started blogging, he only posted three times but one of his posts was so Millard that I wanted to share it here:

A New President !! 11/04/08

A new president? Yes. and he will be receiving our prayers for God's guidance We asked for God to be incontrol in the election, and We trust that He was. Now we owe him our prayerful support. http://mposthumablog.blogspot.com/2008/11/new-president-110408.html

Millard in his unassuming way could so quickly get to the heart of a matter. The same precision God gave him with a scalpel was also evident in his communication.
In a way Millard speaks even though dead. His life speaks volumes and I'd like to leave you with the sound of his voice as featured in a Gaither and Friends album a few years back entitled appropriately enough: Heaven. (He is on the second to the last cut.) I guess there are advantages to having a son in the music industry.

Goodbye Millard, we miss you and look forward to singing with you again in Heaven.

Next Time: The Century Mark.


  1. Your six words were very beautifully written. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. He sounds like he was a great guy, and I am know he is waiting for you up by those pearly gates.

  2. Beautiful post and great tribute to his life. Thank you for sharing that.

  3. Living for heaven
    is eulogy enough for
    God’s belov’d children.

    My Six Words

  4. What an amazing tribute. Mr. Posthuma sounds like an amazing man. What a gift you received in getting to know him.

  5. wow - he sounds like an amazing man. SO glad he touched your life so much.

    in response to your comment on my blog...yes, the calendar may say there are still XX # of days of summer...but my summer ends in 2.5 short weeks :-( I'm a teacher and hate having to go back to work after a fun summer with my own lil ones!

  6. What a touching 6 words :) It's so great when older people have such a positive influence on younger people's lives.

  7. Visiting from 6WS! This is a beautiful tribute. You were blessed to have such a wonderful man of God to call your friend! We would all have been blessed by him, no doubt. Thanks for sharing his obituary and the wonderful music!

  8. The thing about Dave is, he will have a tribute like this when he dies as well, he's just that kinda guy. Love u dave. :)

  9. What a wonderful tribute you've paid to him.

  10. what a heartfelt remembrance - and how cool that he started a blog this late in life. I can tell he was a very very interesting man. You are fortunate to have known him...


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