I officiated the graveside funeral service for my grandma, Jean Allsup. Here is the order of service and eulogy from her funeral:
Eulogy and Order of Service for Jean Harvey Allsup
(Oct. 15, 1923-Nov. 25, 2010)
Today we gather to celebrate and remember the life of Jean Harvey Allsup. She was born October 15, 1923 here in Pendleton. She was the daughter of James and Clara Straughan Harvey, the wife of Ed Allsup, the mother of Sharon and Micki, and the grandmother of Ron, Jenna, Lindsay, and me! And she was the great grandmother of Denali, Josiah, and Joseph. They call her “the great one.” Her legacy is rich and she will be missed.
Our order of service today will be as follows (and I’d like to note that Jean selected these songs for her funeral because she loved them):
· Song: Precious Lord, Take My Hand
· 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
· Song: Going Home
· Remarks of Remembrance from Friends and Family
· Psalm 23* (corporate reading)
· Amazing Grace*
· Final Blessing
At this time, I’d like to share some words and stories in remembrance of my granma, Jean Allsup. Jean was a Straughan, a Harvey, and an Allsup, and she continued the legacies of these great families.
As a Straughan, Jean was a pioneer woman! She had a rugged independent spirit, forged right here in the hills of Pendleton. As a young woman, she left home to become part of a generation of women who pursued higher education. She attended Oregon State University and California State University-Northridge, attaining degrees in business and education, respectively. And she also was one of the women who pioneered working outside the home.
As a Harvey, Jean was full of conviction, strong opinion, and perseverance. She was the original “hockey mom”—cheering loudly, intensely (and sometimes aggressively) for her kids at sporting events. And she fought for what she wanted! Case in point – Jean met my granpa, Dr. Edward L. Allsup, at a USO dance during World War II. The story goes that Jean stood out in the crowd—a leader among (and the best looking of) the other women there. Well, Jean liked Ed, and Ed liked Jean, but Ed was apparently involved in a serious relationship with another woman. Not on my granma’s watch! They never shared with me the details of how granma ended up with the ring on her finger, but suffice it to say that she and granpa were married for 64 years!
As an Allsup, Jean was committed to helping others. She devoted her career to teaching elementary education in the Los Angeles area. And after she retired, she served actively with her church’s Stephen Ministry, in which she offered one-to-one Christian care to the bereaved, hospitalized, and terminally ill.
And as an Allsup, Jean was my granma. I fondly remember doing arts and crafts with her, like decorating t-shirts, making silk flower bouquets, or admiring her Christmas crafts. I appreciate her for teaching me essential life skills, like how to iron. It was through her that I was exposed to day time television and… lengthy afternoon quiet times. And I cherish the memories of my childhood Thanksgivings with her, so it is so poetic to me that she passed on Thanksgiving Day—now every Thanksgiving I will remember her and the times we shared.
If granma was here today, she’d tell you that our “greatest” bonding moment was when I hid behind her bed until she finished with her shower and then jumped out with a cute little “boo!” right as she stepped out of the tub. She absolutely lost it! What I thought would be a good laugh ended up with me sitting in time out for a couple hours…
And if granma was here, what she wouldn’t want me to tell you is my favorite memory of her. One time when she and granpa came to visit me at Texas A&M, I took them to a party. See, my social stock wasn’t that high because I was known not to be a party girl. So this was one of the few invites I had, and I had to make an appearance just to preserve some of my Aggie reputation. So with grandparents in tow, I showed up at this house where a bunch of people, mostly 6’5” cowboys, were drinking beer and having a good ol time. Someone offered granma and granpa a drink, and I parked them next to the beer keg while I went out to say hi to the friend who had invited me. Well, it wasn’t too long into our time there that granma had attracted quite a crowd around her! The guys were really impressed that she was beating them at beer games. They kept challenging her, and she kept winning, and she drank more than one cowboy under the table that night. You should have seen my social stock shoot through the roof after that one!
These are some of my memories and stories of Jean. I know you have some, too, and we would like to hear them! If you have some stories or remarks you would like to share in memory of Jean, I invite you to do so at this time.
Thank you to those of you who shared with us your remarks of remembrance. Yes, we all have special memories of Jean, and our loss is great. But we are thankful to the Lord for placing her in our lives to know and love. It is by His grace that we knew her, and by His grace that she will live eternally in heaven. The Bible says that anyone who places their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord will share in His resurrection—and enjoy eternal life. By believing that Jesus’ death cleansed her from anything that would otherwise separate her from God, Jean was completely forgiven of all sins and has entered into eternal life. So while she is gone from this world, we believe God is faithful and His promises are true—she will rise with Christ and be with Him forever. Nothing can separate her from His love, and our grief is buoyed with this hope!
At this time, I’d like to ask Bill and Jim to lower Jean’s urn into her final resting place. As they do this, let’s have a moment of silence to remember Jean. [Silence]
Now let’s read Psalm 23 together. It can be found on the back of your programs. Please join me in reading.
We have handed out the words to Amazing Grace for you. As we sing this song together, I invite everyone to take a handful of dirt and participate in laying Jean to rest, starting with Sharon and Micki.