Friday, November 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Freda Kimsey

When I check the status page on my blog, on any given day the views it receives may come from as many as 13-17 countries around the world.  It also shows me where the traffic comes from (various search engines, websites, etc).  The problem is, I never really know WHO is reading the blog. Oh, I know that close friends and family members read it regularly, and sometimes someone will leave a comment on a particular post that will let me know that person is reading it.  However there is one lady who seems to read my blog daily.  Even though I don’t always post daily.  In fact, when I don’t post to it in a while, she’ll send me an email to let me know she misses it.  Now THAT makes me feel like it matters to someone!

Well, tomorrow (Saturday, November 21st) is that lady’s birthday, and if I should ever wish anyone a happy birthday on this site, it should be Freda Kimsey of Parkersburg, WV.  I don’t think Freda would mind me telling which birthday this is, since an 80th birthday doesn’t come around very often.  In fact, it doesn’t come around at all for many folks.  Today is a day for Freda and her daughters, sons in law, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to celebrate, and we all should celebrate with her.

The Kimsey family’s story is a great American story.  She and her late husband, Dan (a career US Air Force veteran, who saw duty in Korea and Viet Nam) raised three daughters, and were great Christian examples to them and their families with a heritage that will last for generations.

Freda and Dan were married June 20, 1954 when she was only 18 years of age.  Dan passed away on June 5th of last year, just 15 days shy of their 60th wedding anniversary.  I was privileged to attend his memorial service in Parkersburg, and it was a fitting tribute to BOTH Dan and Freda and their lives well spent in service to God, Country, and Family.

As I said, Dan was a “Fly Boy”.  They were stationed at Lockbourne AFB and moved to Circleville, OH in 1955.  Freda soon became active in Circleville First Baptist Church around 1959.  Her faithful witness helped lead Dan to Christ and he came to faith in Jesus in 1961.  Freda worked in the church teaching Sunday School, VBS (back when it lasted 2 weeks) and was involved in Women's Missionary Union, holding various offices in WMU including president.

In April, 1963, Dan was transferred to Grand Forks AFB, and they immediately joined a church just off the base.  Even though only at Grand Forks for two years, Dan and Freda made many life long friends there.  1964 brought them back to Lockbourne and Circleville.  The church family and neighbors there became extended family to the Kimseys. 

When Dan retired from the USAF in 1972 they moved to West Virginia.  Once again, Freda made her home a welcome place to all her new friends and neighbors. She and Dan attended Marshall University football and basketball games regularly.  Eventually they settled in Parkersburg in 1978 and became active in the MU alumni association, where she even served as president.  She is still involved.  In retirement, Dan and Freda traveled regularly, visiting old friends and attending squadron reunions, etc.

It is an understatement to say that the last year and a half has been tough for Freda, her three girls, five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, but they would all agree that they are blessed to have her in their lives.  She is a wonderful, godly woman, and a true prayer warrior.

Freda, you have been a great encouragement to this pastor for a number of years.  You are a blessing to many, and now we wish you a happy birthday, filled with the blessings of family and friends!

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