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Clara Maude “Pug” Hargraves

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Sister Pug Hargraves

As many of you know, our sister Pug passed away four weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, February 12.  Pursuant to her desires, Pug’s remains were taken to OU for aiding students in the study of medicine.  Inasmuch as Pug’s immediate family lives elsewhere, there were no plans for a memorial service, however with the help of Pug’s daughter Diane, brother and sister Gearhart took it upon themselves to provide this opportunity for all of us today. I know all of us deeply appreciate them for doing that.

When I think of sister Pug, my mind recalls when she first began attending services here at the Hartford congregation.  It was not long after she and her husband Bill had retired and decided to make their home in Ponca City, Pug had long been a member of Christ’s church but had not always been able to attend like she wanted.  So when they moved here, Bill bought her a nice car and made it possible for her to get to services whenever she wanted.  It wasn’t but just a little bit until that became every time the doors were open; Sunday morning for Bible class and worship, Sunday evening, Wednesday nights, and all of the other opportunities that were presented to her.

She was friendly, loving, easy to talk with, easy to love.  She quickly became one of everyone’s favorite members.  It seemed, at least to me, based on things she said from time to time, she just couldn’t get enough being with the church, being around other Christians.   She seemed to relish Bible study and Bible lessons.

And then her husband Bill passed away, and without much family in the area, the church really did become her family.  She attended every opportunity, always with great joy and pleasure.   Her simple faith, her precious love, her optimistic spirit kept people around her loving her and enjoying her company.  She and Norma Barnhart for many, many years would team up every Sunday afternoon to go out and visit some of shut-ins, or those who were going through a trial of some kind.  In that way, she would make a whole day out of worshipping God and serving him each Sunday.  When you saw them sitting out in the foyer after they got back just before evening services, you could tell, they were the ones who felt God’s blessings.

Pug was not a complicated person.  She wasn’t into much except seeking God, loving on others and trying to make the world a brighter place.  I think she was remarkably successful as one of God’s beautiful daughters.  For the last several years, she and brother Denver Gearhart had become fast friends.  He helped her, and she blessed him.

For several months Pug had become unable to get out for services, and her absence was felt by just about everyone.  She was a good person, and you never get tired of being with people like that.

I guess the most important think I can share with you as I think about Pug is that she put her faith in the Lord.  She was proud to be a member of the church.  She seemed to happiest when the church family was all together and God was being worshiped and His word was being preached.  That and letting others know that she loved them, seemed to give her all of the happiness her heart could hold.  She had her funny ways, and she was always telling me that she couldn’t remember anything anymore.  I would tell her, “Well, you remember that, don’t worry about it.”

There is another verse (Revelation 14:13) of Scripture that says, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

Well, sister Pug has died.  And she died in the Lord.  So in my mind’s eye, I can see her enjoying an even larger Christian family than she even knew she had.  She has entered that rest.  Her work is done, and all of the good she did, has now become a part of her incredible reward.