I just got back from the funeral for my friend Mike Clemons. It was a wonderful service -- a great celebration of his life and a powerful testimony to his faith. Mike was very active in the church and my Sunday School class. He was a fixture on the back row and always had a smile to greet everyone.
On the way to the sanctuary, one of the members of my Sunday School class mentioned that it was tough going to two funerals so close together. Mike will certainly be missed.
From the local paper:
CLEMONS, MICHAEL JACKSON
GREENSBORO -- Michael Jackson Clemons, 53, died Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2005, at Moses Cone Hospital.
The funeral service will be held at 5 p.m. today at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church. Visitation will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the church. Mr. Clemons will be taken to the Fries Pentecostal Church for a visitation and burial at 2 p.m. Sunday.
He was born on Nov. 14, 1951, in Fries, Va., to Alma Lanter Clemons and Foster Jackson Clemons. His dad and his grandparents, Mae and Joe Clemons and Nellie and Robert Lanter predeceased him.
He is survived by his mom, Alma Clemons Arnold; his sister and brother-in-law, Jerri and Fletcher Riffey; nephew Richard Sumner (Tina); his great-nephews, Brandon and Taylor Sumner, who were the love of his life; stepsisters Patsy Perry and June Taylor (Tommy); nephews, Jonathan and Jason Riffey; niece Joni Riffey. He is survived by his many friends, Flo, Larry, Bill, Bud, Neal, Lynn, Mac, Darrell, Mark, LuAnn, Rad and Linda.
Mike was born with a very rare heart and lung disease, Eisenmenger's Syndrome. He lived life to the fullest despite his health problems.
He was a member of Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church, where he served on the mission's board. He was a certified lay leader and taught Disciple at Salisbury Prison for the last two years. He had a great love for prison ministry. He answered the crisis line for AA for 17 years and was a counselor for Fellowship Hall. He served as a counselor for the Whobodies, Mt. Pisgah's youth group.
The family wishes to express their love and gratitude to Dr. Richard Weintraub. He was always there for Mike. He wasn't just his doctor, but a true friend and a special thanks to his devoted friend, Margaret Jackson.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Mount Pisgah Methodist Church for Camp Gilrock or the Whobodies.
I miss Mike already.