|From:||Seth Dillingham||In Response To:||Top of Thread.|
|Date Posted:||Monday, January 8, 2001 4:15:58 PM||Replies:||0|
Years ago I met a man named Roy Bounds, from Knoxville, TN. When I say he was "from Knoxville", I don't simply mean that was where he lived... I mean that he was a real part of Knoxville, and Knoxville was a part of him. He loved that town, and Tennessee, and carried it with him wherever he went. Years later, when he moved to Rhode Island with his wife Laura to live near their children and grandchildren (and Laura's parents, and for more fellowship), he was still a Knoxvillian.
When Roy moved to RI, he quickly became as integral a part of our ecclesia as he was of Knoxville. It wasn't long before he was elected to the Arranging Board, but that's actually a trivial point because it's a "big thing"... it's all of the thousands of small points that define him and make him special.
When he and my wife met, they immediately became "buds". They had three significant things in common: the ecclesia (and the common hope that goes along with it), a general dislike of New England's stuffiness, and a firm belief that their hometowns are the best places in the world.
Shane also hit it off with Roy. Though Shane's often aloof with others in the ecclesia, Roy is a real friend and one of the very few people that he can talk to. In fact, Shane has probably spent more time with Roy than with anyone else in the ecclesia. I honestly believe that if not for Roy, Shane's life could have taken some very dark turns in the last couple years.
What's my bond with Roy? Just about everything! We could talk about cycling, or the ecclesia, or my family, or his family, or the printing industry (which I was once a part of), or lately even the internet or the Macintosh computer.
Over the years, I've come to realize that Roy has three qualities in abundance: an extremely kind heart that makes everyone feel safe and comfortable with him, a faith and hope (and perhaps even joy) that seems unshakable no matter the adversity, and a genuine interest in people and everything about them.
Roy's family is beautiful. His wife Laura is a nurse, and a truly lovely lady. Like her mother Shirley, she has a solid steel spine... and by that I mean that she is simply much stronger than most other people. I don't know this for sure, but I believe that she fell in love with and married Roy when she was young, and I know that he was quite a bit older than her.
Roy and Laura had a son David, and a daughter Bonny Lee. I don't know David well, but Bonny has been a friend for most of my life, she's only a few years older than I am. Bonny married Eric Pride, another of my lifelong friends, and they gave Roy three incredible grandchildren: Avonlee ("Princess", "Av"), Ethan ("bubba", but also called bam-bam, loudmouth, and "loudest child on the planet"), and Simon ("Peadro", "Slimon"). I'm giving Simon the benefit of the doubt: he's still a baby, but his older siblings are amazing, so odds are that he'll be like them in one way or another.
Avonlee and Ethan both love him as much as children can possibly love a grandfather. Living so close to him, he's a huge part of their lives... they spend up to five days per week at his house. Not as daycare, since Bonny doesn't work... just because he's Papaw ("Páh-paw"), fun to be with, and because Bonny and Eric recognize that he's a very good influence on their young lives.
Years ago, Roy was diagnosed with Emphysema, a result of years of smoking (though he quit a long time ago) and working around asbestos for the Navy. The last year has been especially tough, as his condition has progressed.
Roy fell asleep for the last time on Sunday night, at the Westerly Hospital in Westerly, RI. He is survived by... well, by a family of thousands, by everyone that ever knew him, because we were all his family and we all loved, and were loved by, this very special man. He will be buried in Knoxville.
Sleep well, Brother. We miss you, but we will see you again. Of that I have no doubt.
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