FTP: Honoring Terry Penkert

Gary Karschner
Gary Karschner is the pastor at Miles United Methodist Church.

Sunday was a long day for Red and me. After our regular church service, that afternoon I had the honor of officiating the funeral of a church member’s father. Terry was a well known and respected man in the community of Miles, America. His fight against  cancer was courageous and valiant, but the disease with no conscience took Terry. Sunday, of course had to be a triple digit day for heat.

The family, friends, and guests in attendance were abundant. The military representatives from Fort Hood did a commendable job honoring Terry for his military service. I felt for those guys in their heavy class “A” uniforms. The heat was oppressive, but I don’t think those  Army guys were permitted to sweat. Several attendees mentioned the heat had caused them to break sweat and the beads of sweat had fallen into their eyes, ears, and other parts of their bodies. I know the sweat rolled into my eyes and it caused me some discomfort and inability to see well. The celebration of the life of Terry Penkert was very touching, and many in attendance shared “one word” to describe him. Of course, it took many words to describe him.           

The event ended at the biggest Methodist Church in Miles with a reception honoring Terry. There were pictures and items representing the various years of Terry’s life. Laughter and conversations filled the fellowship hall. Many of the the tales regarding Terry were redundant, but many of his activities were known only to a select few. You special folks have stories far better than those mentioned in my remarks. Some things are better left unsaid though, if you know what I mean.

If you happen to be driving by Miles, you might see Penkert’s Overall Repair Service van in front of the Burrus shop on the highway. It looks just like a big Texas flag. Terry built that van with the front half having a couch and amenities to live in, and the back half had the tools necessary to do his work. When you see this vehicle think about Terry Penkert. 

If you get a chance, stop by the Miles Museum and see what the efforts Terry and Glenda Lacy have accomplished over the years saving the history of Miles, America. It is a “touchy feely” type museum. It has too much history to mention here, so trust me when I tell you, there are things there for folks of all ages to enjoy. The museum is truly a special place. I think you might just feel the pride Terry took in promoting the history of Miles and the genealogy of its many families living here. The museum is going to be around a long time. Thank you Terry for your hard work to capture our past for our future to enjoy. 

Channel change. At the reception I had the pleasure of visiting with many folks. I thank you for your kind comments regarding my “stuff." I am glad my offerings give you pleasure and laughs. Please know I value your comments.     

The last activity of the day when Red and I got back to San Angelo was to visit the mother of a former co-worker. This mom is in a local care center and has recently been placed on hospice care. She worked in Ballinger for years. I held her hand while she slept, and prayed for her. Let’s continue to celebrate the living while we honor the passing of loved ones. Be Well, Gary K.