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Several weeks ago, a great man who loved his Lord and Savior was taken too quickly from his family and friends. Life as well as death must come eventually to all. It is what we do during those gaps in time that matter the most. I would like to share some things about Donnie Threatt that I will always remember. I want to also share some things that I learned about Donnie after his passing.
Even though I have been blessed to be married to Donnie’s nephew for more than 20 years now, I never really got to know the real Donnie and what made him tick. How ironic that my husband was the ring bearer in his wedding to Sue Bradley. Sue played the music in our own wedding so many years later. It is of Donnie and Sue that I hold many precious memories. Stolen moments of intimacy shared between the two with just a smile – sometimes even a kiss. Their marriage is the stuff that dreams are made of. You never saw one without the other and most of those times they were holding hands.
Donnie and Sue were blessed with two sons, Chris and Steven. Chris and I were the same age and I believe that we went through all of our school years together and graduated together. He always had that sweet smile about him. Well, not long after I gave birth to my own son, Chris was in an accident and within months he was taken from our lives. I can’t even begin to imagine the void of losing your child. For Steven, I can’t imagine the void of losing his brother. Steven was affected tremendously as well. Through all of this pain, Donnie and Sue clung to one another and by the grace of God they made it through.
The night of visitation, I have never seen so many people walk through the line to speak to family members and pay their respects. I heard so many stories about Donnie. He taught Sunday school, he was a deacon, and he sang in the choir at Bethel Baptist Church. I even learned that he coached ball to so many kids who are now adults. He always gave of his time, but he always made time for his family. I can say that, because like clockwork, at 4 p.m., after he put in his shift at Grace Bleachery, he always stopped by to see his mother. He was the baby of five children. They are all wonderful children and I hurt for each and everyone of them. I hurt for his mother too. You can believe they all have faith in God and he will see them through this hard time.
It was sad attending the funeral service of Donnie. My sadness turned into pride when I saw the procession of cars that stretched as far as my eyes could see going to the graveside service. I knew then that everyone of us are better people for knowing Donnie Threatt.
I would like to express my gratitude to the police officer in uniform standing at the cemetery with his right hand over his heart in honor of Donnie and his family. It is men like you that make us proud. There aren’t many like you left in this world.