My wife’s father [Yes, that’s right – Becky’s maiden name was Hubbs, my last name is Hubbs. It’s unusual, and we’ve heard all of the jokes.] (“Bob” to his friends, “Pops” to his grandkids and his kids-in-law who couldn’t quite come to call him “Dad”) passed away this morning after a short illness. I’m sure I’ll learn much more about him through the stories of family and friends over the next few weeks, but I wanted to get a few thoughts and memories down now while things are fresh.
Pops was a man of quiet faithfulness. After serving in the US Marine Corps he followed God’s call to go to the mission field, taking his family through language camp in south Texas (resulting, among other things, in his youngest daughter having her father’s name listed as “Roberto” on her birth certificate) and then to the jungles of Indonesia. When health issues forced them to come back to the States, he and his wife served with JAARS for another 20+ years at the US headquarters location in Waxhaw, NC. He worked in the Construction and Maintenance department as a buyer, and he well knew his projects and materials. He was a fixture as an usher in his section of the Calvary Church balcony, and was a regular participant in a multitude of bowling groups, Bible Studies and prayer meetings.
Pops was a meticulous, detail-oriented man. When there was a job to be done, there was a correct tool to be used for it. Better to take more time and do it right than go for half-measures. He perpetually carried a notebook to record daily expenses. He always wanted to make sure he took care of any costs he incurred, sometimes to a hilarious extent. (Just last week we deposited a check that he sent to replace a lawn chair after one of ours tore slightly when he sat in it during his last visit here.) He was an extraordinarily generous and giving man; a trait which was passed down to all of his children in delightful ways.
I first met Pops in 1995 as an incoming freshman at LeTourneau University. At the time it was mostly a novelty, since I’d never met another Hubbs that wasn’t a relative of mine. (I took care of that 3 years later when I married his youngest daughter. Now I still haven’t ever met a Hubbs that I wasn’t somehow related to.) During the past 13 years as his son-in-law I got to know him better, and was regularly challenged by his patience, his faithfulness in service, and his disciplined consistency in the Word. (You could find him every morning up early reading his Bible and praying. Every. Single. Morning.)
Pops’ greatest gift to me, though, was the 20 years that he invested in his youngest daughter before she became my wife. Becky’s detail-oriented brain, her love for God, her consistent, faithful service, her enjoyment of travel and adventure, and her love of softball were all inculcated by her loving father in a way that all daughters deserve and very few actually receive. Our three daughters and I are all the richer thanks to his faithfulness.
Pops will be greatly missed, but we do not despair as those who have no hope. We look forward to the day when we will again laugh, run, bowl, and play softball with him in the resurrection. Well done, good and faithful servant.