Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Remembering My Dad

Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones.
(Psalms 116:15)

Today is the 5th anniversary of my Dad's passing. I was going to write a post on memories of my Dad, but I've not been able. Maybe next year. But I can't let today pass unremarked, so I am posting the obituary my sisters, my Mom, and I all wrote together. Gathered around the kitchen table writing this was a time when we laughed, cried, and remembered Dad together.

Eugene Gibson Clyatt, 68, of Missoula, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on September 1, 2005. He died at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA, following a long illness.

Gene was born on July 26, 1937, in Atlanta, GA, to Thomas Edward Clyatt and Mary Sue Gibson Clyatt. Gene was a 1955 graduate of Brown High School in Atlanta, and continued his education at the University of Georgia. Gene married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Martha Ann Collins, on December 20, 1958. They began their married life in Miami, FL, and later lived in Atlanta and Macon, GA. Gene worked in pharmaceutical sales, rising to the level of National Sales Manager of the Surgical Specialties Division of what was then Smith Kline. In 1977 Gene and his family moved to Missoula, thus fulfilling Gene’s life-long dream of living out West. Gene worked for Real Log Homes of Missoula before starting his own construction company in 1978. That same year Gene and his family built and moved into a log home in Frenchtown, MT. Gene and Ann returned to Missoula in 1991.

Gene was the owner of Clyatt Construction Company, building homes throughout Western Montana including five houses in Missoula’s Parade of Homes. Gene was an active member of the Missoula Building Industry Association, serving one term as president and several terms on the board of directors. He was also a member of a Builder 20 Club of the National Home Builders Association and served on the advisory board of the Missoula chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Gene was a man of faith, integrity, wisdom and love. He was a past member of Gordon Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs, GA, and Frenchtown Community Church. At the time of his death, Gene was an active member and deacon of Trinity Baptist Church in Missoula. He also served as interim pastor at churches in Helmville and Lincoln, MT. Gene was known for his beautiful tenor voice and was a past member and chorus director of Rocky Mountainaires Barbershop Chorus.

Gene is survived by his devoted wife of 47 years, Ann, daughter Susan Lybeck and husband Kevin of Avon, CT, daughter Sheila Kuntz of Missoula, son Gene Clyatt Jr. and wife Janet of Superior, brother Tommy Clyatt and wife Rowena of Atlanta, GA, sister-in-law Jane Collins of Baton Rouge, LA, and eight grandchildren, Kyle Kuburich, Amanda Clyatt, Erik Lybeck, Jason Lybeck, Aaron Kuburich, Trent Kuntz, Matthew Lybeck and Brian Lybeck.

Funeral Services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, September 7, at Trinity Baptist Church, with internment and reception to follow at Sunset Memorial Cemetery.

I still miss my Dad a lot. I miss being able to pick up the phone and avail myself of his wisdom. I've yet to be able to play golf since he passed. There are expected times when I feel the grief of his passing, like today, and then there are times when the grief sneaks up and finds me unexpectedly, when I look at something he gave me, or a picture on the wall. But I know that I will, by God's great Grace, see him again. I sorrow for those who grieve without that hope.

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