Readers living in the Akron, Barberton, and Wadsworth areas of Ohio may recognize this couple. He worked at Firestone and she at Ohio Edison. If you are a reader living as far away as El Paso, Texas, you may know them, too. They are the late Dale and Helen Pryor. What Jesus said in Revelation 2:10, "... be thou faithful into death, and I will give thee a crown of life," tells their story: faithful servants who loved the Lord and worked daily in His Kingdom.
Dale obeyed the gospel during WWII while stationed in India but left the church for many, many years. He realized his lost condition and was restored while attending the Lord's church in Wadsworth. They later moved to Texas and lived out their retirement years there. Helen was added to the Lord's church in El Paso, and the lady who helped her with her clothing said, "She came up out of the baptistry water and never looked back."
So many folks at the congregation they attended remembered them with pleasant, loving memories. Dale and Helen attended any and all classes, worship, work days, and projects. You name it; they were both there to help. Dale was remembered as one who visited new-comers, delinquent church members, the sick and shut in, and he was ready and willing when there was door knocking in the community. Helen was active with ladies' classes and is fondly remembered as having supplies on hand when members of the church needed meals during times of sickness or funerals. She would order baby flatware to have ready for all the baby showers. Even after her death, Dale sent her last baby flatware gift to a young mother's shower and, because of love for Helen, many tears were shed that day. That young mother will not only treasure the gift but her memories as well.
Dale and Helen had been married for 46 years when she died suddenly from a heart attack in 1991. The Lord never blessed their union with children, but nieces and nephews were always welcome in their home. It was said of Dale, following his wife's death, "He really tried to hold up and go on without Helen, but I truly believe he eventually failed to thrive without his help mate." Genesis 2:18, 23, 24. He, too, departed this life three years later. Two wonderful people now await their "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:14-30.
You are no doubt wondering why I wrote about this couple. I knew and loved them during my childhood and early adult years. However, after they moved to Texas, I did not keep in touch. They were my Uncle Dale and Aunt Helen. He was my mother's brother, and I had been told of his restoration and Aunt Helen's baptism.
This past winter I located the congregation they had attended in El Paso. I had often wondered how my aunt and uncle spent their years as servants for the Lord. From relatives I had heard bits and pieces of their life in Texas, but I wanted to know them as Christians. Where else could I find this information but from their church family?
Most of what I have written about their spiritual life in El Paso came from those who loved and missed them - folks who were very happy to take a walk with me down memory lane. Their memories brought me joy but sadness, too. A sadness that we did not stay in touch, that I never knew them as Christians. However, that sadness is fleeting when I realize that, by their example, they have left footsteps for me to follow.
How can I be sad when their journey from this earth took them to that home prepared for those who love the Lord? -Rt. 2 Box 177, Belington, WV 26250.
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