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Dads 80

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S: Elmer Brannon;s 80th Birthday

FC: Celebrating Elmer Brannon's 80th Birthday September 21, 2010

1: This book is written with love, by your family, for all the things you have done and for the wonderful person you are. Happy 80th Birthday! We Love You!

2: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.

3: Elmer, love of my life. I remember the first time I saw you. Our MWC choir had come to Enid, Oklahoma for a choir tour. You were a junior in high school and I was a junior as well. You came into church just before the choir concert and sat with a girl. I thought you were a handsome guy. Then you came to Miltonvale Wesleyan College in 1947 for your senior year in high school. The first Friday night we had a "get acquainted" night and I saw you. You had on a sweater vest with blue and yellow argyle design and blue pants. After the party, Gene Cockrell came over to me and said, "Elmer wants to walk you home." I said, "I suppose" and Gene called to you and said, "she supposes you can walk her home." So, began my life with you, 63 years ago. On June 6, 1951 we were married which was such an exciting time for us. You have been the delight of my life. You are fun. creative, helpful, encouraging, thoughtful, loving, dedicated, my strength, my provider, my lover. We've shared our lives together. Our ministry, our joys, our sorrows, our wonderful daughters and their families, our retirement. You are so much fun to live with and I love to spend my days with you. Life is wonderful with you. Now you are 80 years old. You look young and act young. I am so proud to walk by your side and be your wife. I am forever grateful that you chose me to be your wife and delight in your love. Your consistent and steadfast love for the Lord is as evident in your actions with your family and others. You are the BEST. Happy Birthday! I love you dearly. Your wife, Velma

4: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers

5: Grandpa, I have only known you for the past 5 years and our visits are few and far between but each one has been special. If I can say anything about you is that you are one of the most caring persons I've met. You are very much family oriented and will reach out to help if its within your reach. I am proud to say that you are my "new" Grandpa. Happy 80th Birthday and many more to come!" Sarah | Grandpa is one of the friendliest people i know. i always remember him making conversations with anyone from waitresses to just random people on the street. no matter who he's talking to he can always light up their day. Justin

6: Dear Grandpa I feel so blessed to have such amazing grandparents, and so blessed to be able to spend so much time with you! I am thankful for you taking such good care of me when I was in college and when I lived with you. I can't imagine what my life would have been like without those times. You have made me laugh many, many times, and challenged me in my faith, whether you knew it or not. Thank you for being such a great example of God's love and generosity, among so many other things. Thanks for so many great memories, and more to come! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and that you feel an ounce of the love returned to you that you have given to all of us. Love, Miranda

7: Dear Grandpa, The Lord has blessed you, and He has used you to bless many others. Your strong example of Christlike leadership is an inspiration, and your family is a direct result of that. Speaking of your family, you have consistently gone out of your way to make me feel like I am indeed a part of your family. This means the world to me, and I am so thankful for that. I look forward to getting to know you even better, and perhaps even convincing you of the truth of Calvinism! Ha! :-) Thank you again. Love, Matthew Reed

8: What I most appreciate about Grandpa is his generosity and obvious love for God and others. I love listening to him pray over breakfast in the morning, and am so thankful for the help they both have been for us over the move down. Grandpa has a great sense of humor as well, and it is a pleasure to be around him. Happy Birthday! Jason

9: Grandpa; I think one of my favorite memories would be the times when we would come to visit in Colorado Springs and Saturday nights you would wash our hair! I remember the different Winnie the Pooh shampoos that you would use and all the fun that we had. I think the thing that I appreciate the most about you would be your willingness to help anyone and everyone. Whether its driving people to their doctor's appointment, letting us stay with you, helping others with different projects, you are always there for others when they need it. Because of your willingness to help, there is no doubt that you truly love us and others! Thank you for everything you have done for us! Happy 80th Birthday! I love you very much! Breanne

10: There are so many memories of Grandpa throughout the years, it would be impossible to name them all. From the custom-made pancakes, airplane rides, and the time spent fixing things together, again, it would be impossible to name my favorite. What I do know is that no matter what we were doing, grandpa was always as excited about being with the grandkids as we were to be with him. There is no substitute for the time we've able to spend together. I feel blessed to have the grandparents that I do. It has always been a wonderful environment to grow up in, and the wonderful family that we have is all thanks t the example that was set by grandpa and grandma. What I will take away most from you, grandpa, is that you have taught me how to love. The way you love grandma and the entire family is the way I hope to love mine someday. I love you, and I wish you a very happy birthday. -Caleb Mitchell

11: Happy Birthday, Grandpa Beep! I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. There are so many things that I love about you! You are such a great grandpa. Not a great-grandpa... a GREAT grandpa. I love how funny and, dare I say it, goofy you are. You can always make me laugh. Miranda and I will never forget that birthday a couple of years ago when you were having so much fun opening all of your cards and reading them to us. We still laugh about it. I always know when I come over to your house that you will be able to make me laugh and cheer me up. Your home is so joyful and peaceful. This may seem silly, but I also love how much you love Grandma. It is so endearing to me and you have set such a great example of what marriage should look like. I look up to you a lot because of that, as well as for being the spiritual leader that you are. Thank you for all of the prayers that you have prayed for me and the wisdom that you have passed on to me. I love listening to the stories and advice that you have to share. I want to soak up as much as possible! And it's all about the little things. My favorite memories are the family Christmas programs led by you, being woken up by A Birdie With A Yellow Bill, pancake breakfasts, daily emails, your "beeping" nose, and having you wash my hair in the sink. I cherish those memories. I hope that you have a wonderful birthday. I have enjoyed being here in Bartlesville so much and being able to celebrate some birthdays with you! I am so blessed to have you as a grandpa. I love you lots! Dalynn

12: G- is for GREAT, the best you can be! R- is for REMARKABLE, because you are! A- is for AMUSING, your beeping nose! N- is for NO OTHER, you’re one of a kind! D- is for DEVOTED, to everything you do! P- is for PERMANENT, always in my heart! A- is for ASTOUNDING, that your 80! Happy birthday grandpa! I love you soooo much! -Kelsey-

13: Happy Birthday Grandpa! I love you soooooooooooooo very very much! I love the pancakes you make, and all the happy memories I’ve had with them. I also love your beautiful singing and wonderful songs! My favorite song that you sing is “A birdie with a yellow bill, sat upon my window sill.” I don’t know the name of it, but it’s my favorite. One of the things that I love the most about you is your beeping nose. It’s so funny! I also like to listen to your sermons, especially the ones that spell things out on the side. I love you so much even though your old and turning 80! With Love, Courtney Brannon Westveer P.S. And thank you for all the stuff you have built or fixed for us. I LOVE YOU!

14: Dear Dad, It doesn’t seem possible that you are 80! You don’t look or act like you are! There are so many memories from childhood, camping trips, stopping to buy cherries at stands along the way, watching you work in the garage and just visiting, your fixing and building things, and on and on. I learned to take things apart, but don’t do so good getting them back together. (Tim ends up doing that) . One of my very special memories is Christmas at Cripple Creek and going out and cutting down a Christmas tree. I loved and still love spending time with you. I also think of so many memories in the last few years. Since you’ve moved to Bartlesville, I’ve enjoyed many hours with you. It’s been so great that you’ve been there when kids have been in school. We’ve enjoyed driving down to watch soccer games and go to choir concerts and other activities at the college AND having a bed to sleep in. You’ve been a supporter of your grandkids just as you were and still are with your daughters and sons-in-laws. You’ve driven to KC and other locations for soccer games for Caleb to watch him play, even though soccer wasn’t your favorite sport. What a supporter of your family. How I enjoyed going with you to Atlanta last summer. It was such fun to spend time with just you and mom on the long trip there and back. Thanks for making sure that I had my peach milkshake before leaving the state of Georgia. That GPS really worked! I’ve enjoyed some great trips with you. Thank you for letting me go along on trips back to Indiana a couple of times, and your time flying with me to Denver from Colorado Springs. I was glad for your help in getting me at least that far with kids. You have impacted so many lives through your ministry. I think you’re the best preacher ever! Thank you for your example of Christian living and for your prayers for each of your family members each day, it is a blessing to know those prayers are being offered every day. Thank you for loving me. Thank, thanks, thanks! I love you, Marcia

15: Father Brannon I’ve known who “Elmer Brannon” is almost as long as I can remember. You were involved in youth camps and church activities through my childhood and young adult life. I have always thought of you with respect, and appreciated your leadership and selfless approach to people. In your professional life you have created many lasting friendships that have transcended the years. It wasn’t until I was married to Marcia that I have appreciated the true impact of your influence on your family. Starting with your wife, Velma, and daughters, each to whom you have a close and loving relationship, you have positively engaged each of your family members, including your (sometimes pigheaded) sons-in-law. Add to this, your caring and acceptance for 7 grandchildren (plus a few spouses and close friends) and we can understand what is behind the close, supportive family that still enjoys spending time with you. You have always been interested in a variety of activities; making clocks for each daughter and grandchild, rebuilding pianos, building airplanes, making tables, playing golf, hunting, fishing, and fixing all kinds of things. It is a rare family member that does not remember being included in these activities. But with all this, you have had the time to be interested in what I am doing, and taking care to listen to my (sometimes inane) plans. After Marcia and I were married, I remember asking what you wanted me to call you. You said that “Father Brannon” would be all right. You were joking weren’t you? Maybe this is part of why we love you; at least I know I do.

16: Dad, You have always been my hero. I remember when I was young, I enjoyed going places with you and tagging along (I still do). A special memory is my 16th birthday when I got to skip school and go to Northglenn to work on your rental house. That was a great day of hanging out, just the two of us. I have always been proud to tell people about my Dad—you were always the coolest Dad around. You could fix anything, build anything, or do anything you tried to do. No one else’s Dad took their friends for airplane rides, built airplanes in their garage or picked them up from school on a red scooter. I remember fishing excursions where you didn’t catch any fish, because you were helping all us girls; Camping in a camper you designed and built, before anyone else had one; Mice in pianos as well as cabins, and many more great memories growing up. I have always admired the way you help people in need--from those needing gas, bus tickets, a ride, something fixed or an arm to lean on. Everyone loves you! I remember going with you to take pictures of someone in a casket, and the hard time we had because she kept blinking and wouldn't smile. You made everything we did fun! For a great deal of my life, you were my pastor, and I appreciated the fact that you lived out what you preached. You have always been there to help us anytime we needed help, and I really appreciate knowing that you pray for me and my family every day. You are the most amazing example of a loving husband and father, and I thank God that you are my Dad! You are the best! I love you!! Connie

17: Happy 80th Birthday “Father Brannon”: A quick mental calculation leads me to the conclusion that I have been around for about half of those 80 years. They are filled with many memories—as well as lessons learned. There have been all the times you have been willing to help others. It didn’t matter if it was giving your time, giving a ride, giving a hand, or giving money—even when it was unlikely you would ever be paid back—you have helped those who needed it whenever you could. There is also your proclivity for fixing and building things: churches, houses, planes, pianos, cars, clocks, and a host of other items—large and small—have been the focus of your mechanical prowess. Sometimes this has simply been the challenge of tackling the job; and other times, it has been coupled with the desire to help someone in their time of need. Obviously our family has been, and continues to be, the beneficiaries of both of those qualities. And I want you to know how much we have appreciated your help and generosity over the years. I have enjoyed the numerous times we have spent together over the years: family gatherings, fishing, flying, fixing things, golfing, and other activities. Of course, one of the first ministry activities we shared together gave me the opportunity to see your keen sense of concentration. In a nursing home service, as a lady on the front row began undressing, you stayed focused on delivering the message of God’s Word with power and conviction. I can’t say the same for the rest of us. Of course, I have also had the privilege of having you as my pastor and District Superintendent—as such, you served as a spiritual father. I appreciate the lessons I learned there as well, and attribute your example as a major influence of God’s call on my life for ministry. And thanks for being just “Dad”—welcoming me into your family. With my love, Rick

18: Dear Daddy, Happy 80th Birthday. It’s hard to believe that those two numbers describe your age. You are so young and spry at heart that you surprise everyone. To begin to write how much you mean to me seems like an impossible task. You are the rock of the family; the one who holds us all together spiritually. I remember watching you in the pulpit as you guided your congregations toward the Lord. I am proud to say you baptized me, married me, dedicated my children and taught me to grow in Christ during your years of ministry. When I begin to think of special memories about you, my mind is flooded with thoughts. You were the dad who was always at the school events, which “back in those days” was pretty rare. You taught me how to throw a softball, so I wouldn’t throw like a girl! You taught me how to “listen to the engine” when shifting a car, well at least you tried! You let me play beauty shop and try to set you hair in perfect curls. I remember special pancakes on the many special occasions and some pretty ordinary occasions as well. I knew you were the one who could fix anything! Even plumbing! Even old ’72 Dodge Colts! You blessed my life by showing me how a man should love his wife. I’ve been blessed with a husband who loves me and I know I set my standards high because I wanted what my parents had. You are a wonderful grandpa. You’ve carried on the pancake tradition, allowed your nose to be beeped WAY too much, sang the birdie song and showed the girls unconditional love. Thank you for being so wonderful to them. It’s hard to put my 46 years of experiences with you in such a small space, but know that you are loved and appreciated more than I can ever express. I love you! Janell

19: #10: Being that much closer to shooting your age in golf. #9: No matter how old you get, your wife will still be older. #8: It no longer matters what color socks you wear with shorts. #7: A posterity who gives glory to God as a result of your efforts and example. #6: Being able to work the term “octogenarian” into casual conversations. #5: Eating dessert first. #4: A trail of lives throughout the Midwest that have been touched by your service. #3: People allowing you to use the bathroom inside their homes before—wellyou know. #2: Waking up. #1: Wearing a sweatshirt displaying the face of your favorite son-in-law in public without shame or embarrassment. Happy Birthday, Elmer! Here’s hoping the next 80 years are just as enjoyable! | Top ten things you can celebrate now that you’re 80

20: What News Events Happened in 1930 The United States embarks on an ambitious programme of Public Works to regenerate the economy including the building of the Boulder Dam ( Hoover Dam ) President Herbert Hoover signs the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff bill which raised duties on imports Mohandas Gandhi informs British viceroy of India that civil disobedience would begin in demonstration against British rule. Following the Wall Street Crash 1350 banks in the US fail

21: The City of Constantinople in Turkey changes its name to Istanbul Fire at Ohio State Penitentiary on April 21st kills 320 inmates US 1930 Unemployment figures show 8.7% of the population are unemployed US suffers worst ever drought causing hardship in farming community and leading to dust bowl years Gangsters ( Scarface ) gangster is jailed for income tax evasion Prohibition Enforcement is Strengthened and moved to the justice department

23: THE FIRST 80 YEARS the HARDEST! By Frank C. Laubach I have good news for you. The first 80 years are the hardest. The second 80, as far as my experience goes, is a succession of birthday parties. Everybody wants to carry your baggage and help you up the steps. If you forget anybody’s name or forget to fulfill an appointment or promise, you can explain that you are 80. If you spill your soup on your necktie, or fail to shave one side of your face, or if your shoes don’t match, or you take another man’s hat by mistake, or carry a letter around in your pocket a week before you read it, you are 80. So you can relax with no misgivings, for you have a perfect alibi for everything. Nobody expects much of you. If you act silly it is your second childhood. Everybody is looking for symptoms of softening of the brain. Being 80 is a great deal better than being 65 or 70. At that time they expect you to retire at a little house in Florida and become a discontented, grumbling, lisping has-been. But if you survive until 80, everybody is surprised that you can talk above a whisper, surprised if you reveal signs of lucid intervals. At 70 people are mad at you for everything, at 80, they forgive anything. If you ask me, life begins at 80. (From Partyline, published by General Department of Local Church Education for Best Years Fellowship)

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