Althea Kilber, after fighting 2 good fights with that creepy thing called "cancer", passed away last Sunday. The funeral service was yesterday (Wednesday) at Grace Church in Champlin, MN. It was a short, but very good service. It was very hard for my family to participate in the funeral. For me, as a pallbearer, I felt close to the Kilbers, even though I only saw them once a month or less. Bruce has been a friend in the magic community, and Althea was the world's best garage-saler. If there was a bargain in the Twin Cities in some one's sale, Althea would find it. It was also difficult for our family, because it really put in front of us the thought about, "What if we were losing our own Mom?" It really puts you in a compassionate mode, even barely knowing the grief that a family can face in times like this.
The good news is that Althea loved Christ, and devoted herself to sharing love with everyone she met. Whether it was with the kids at the daycare she worked at, or with adults at church, she showed what "love with skin on" looks like. She now gets to share her love, along with her big smile, with Christ himself, as she begins her own eternity in Heaven. How cool is that?!?
The Kilbers didn't seem to live a fancy life. They spent their summers camping as a family. They actually were given an award for having camped in ALL of the Minnesota state parks. That's a lot of camping, and a lot of family time. But family has always been their first priority. They went to magic conventions around the country as a family, and there are not too many wives and kids that would do that!
Please pray for the Kilbers, as they move into this new, and probably difficult phase of life.
At the Fun-raiser that I participated in, a family picture was taken of Bruce, Althea and the kids. Sadly, it was to be their last picture of all 4 of them. To see their family photo, please go the Caring Bridge site that Althea regularly posted at HERE
I leave you with this great 3 verse poem printed in her funeral bulletin:
God saw that she was getting tired
And a cure was not to be
So He put His arms around her
And He whispered, "Come with me."
With tearful eyes we watched her suffer
And slowly fade away
Although we loved her dearly,
We could not make her stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands to rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best.