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In Loving Memory of C. Gordon Karsgaard

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S: In Loving Memory of C. Gordon Karsgaard

FC: In Loving Memory of | C. Gordon Karsgaard | May 6, 1925 — November 16, 2010

9: ‘Life Highlights’ by Don Karsgaard At this point in a funeral, one would typically recount the main activities throughout the life of the deceased. The purpose being, to help us all to remember the person who has passed away in the best possible way. And while this is my purpose, I may look at things a little differently today, but I hope you will follow me and appreciate my father’s life better as a result. On the morning that Dad died, someone sent me (and everyone else in their address book), a Power-Point email that I think is so appropriate that I would like to share its message with you today. It is entitled, “The Seasons”; and subtitled, “we should not judge a person too quickly” The example was given of a pear tree, in four seasons – winter, spring, summer and fall. “In winter, the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted “In spring, the tree was covered with buds, and full of promise “In summer, the tree was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet, and looked so beautiful “In fall, the tree was laden with fruit, full of life, and fulfillment “Each season of the tree’s life was completely different, and this is not only true of the pear tree, but this is true of every person’s life as well “We must therefore not judge a person from only one season of their lives, but rather take all seasons into consideration. And, we therefore cannot judge a person accurately from only one season of their life; but we must wait until all the seasons have been played out – and then at the end of a person’s life we can make a true evaluation The email then said, “Don’t let the pain of one season of a person’s life destroy the true joy there is when taking all seasons into consideration.” The message that I personally took from this email was, that it would be my responsibility to help each of you, who may have only experienced one or two of the seasons in my father’s life, to understand more of who Gordon Karsgaard really was So when we look at my father’s life..., there were times when he was definitely very loving, and times when he was very caring | But there were also times when he displayed a very hard exterior, and times when he was angry Dad struggled with physical pain from his arthritis, for many, many years – and this affected and even compromised his ability to communicate what really was on his heart. Dad also always desired to do only that which was pleasing to God, and he did his best to communicate that to his family and close friends, even though that was not always appreciated. But Dad’s heart was good! George W. Bush was interviewed by Oprah recently and in the course of that interview, he was asked what he wanted to be remembered for... And President Bush responded by saying, “...We all, have our defining moments in life, but I’d rather be remembered, not for my actions, but for my heart” Similarly, I believe my father would prefer to be remembered by his heart than by his actions Oh, he did many wonderful things for his family and for others — supporting many missionaries and Christian ministries But, as I review his life now, I want you to think less about his actions and more about his ‘heart’. Dad, Gordon Karsgaard, was born to Carl and Windella Karsgaard on May 6, 1925 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan It was a tough time for almost everyone in the 1920’s and 1930’s Dad’s father had a construction business in Moose Jaw, and he had found a ‘niche’ in the construction market at the time People were concerned about the cost of heating their homes, so Dad’s father when working for these people – he would raise their house, then take out the main floor, and then lower the house. This made their homes smaller, and lower their heating bills. People we very happy with my grandfather’s ingenuity and his work; and my grandfather would then salvage the wood and with it build commercial stores, etc. And through this, at an early age my father had seeds planted in his life that would later help him also to become ingenious in business But my grandmother was unable to cope (health-wise...), with the summers in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, due to her asthma. So when Dad was about 10 years old, the whole family went on a summer vacation to Vancouver – but in reality it was not a ‘vacation’... Rather it was a planned relocation. Dad and his two brothers: Andrew the oldest, and Roy the next oldest; (Dad being the youngest), and their mother were left in Vancouver, and their father returned to Moose Jaw... Remember this was in the dirty 30’s and work was hard to come by; and Dad’s father had a successful business in Moose Jaw So it seemed practical to Dad’s parent’s that his father should stay in Moose Jaw until the economy got better. So this left the boys without a father in Vancouver for about 5 years – and this was very hard on my father, because this was during the time he was 10 years old, until he was about 15

11: In Vancouver, Dad went to the Queen Mary Elementary School and then to the Lord Byng High School. When Dad left school, he went to work first for Sigurdsson’s Millwork, then after he worked for the Woodward’s Department Stores and BC Electric, before joining the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943. While in the Air Force, before going overseas, he was engaged to my mother, Dorothy Smith, (daughter to Oswald and Violet Smith). Then when Dad returned after the War, he and my mother were married on April 24, 1946 in the Mount Pleasant Gospel Hall. After my grandfather moved out to Vancouver, he started a retail hardware business called Hilltop Hardware, and it was here that Dad went to work after the War. However, there really was not enough income to support their two families, so Dad left his father’s hardware business and began working for Marshall Wells Wholesale Hardware. But then in 1954, his father died. Uncle Roy had his own construction business at the time, and my Uncle Andrew was a missionary-doctor in Pakistan. So that left the responsibility to either close, or to run the hardware business to my father. Dad chose to take over and run the hardware business; and from it to support his mother, as well as our family. It was a difficult time financially. But Dad was ingenious – he borrowed money from the bank to start a second store, and from that money he was able not only to start another store, but also was able to support his family, as well as my grandmother. But the second store was not very profitable either, so he started a third store, and then a fourth, etc. Dad was very good with finances The he bought the Kerrisdale Hardware store, and it thankfully, did make money In 1966 I returned from Bible School, and went to work for Dad in the hardware business – not just because I needed a job, but also because I wanted to help Dad free up some of his time, so that he could spend more time with my sisters than he was able to do with me and my brother when I was at home So because Dad then had the time, and because my mother had come into some money from her father’s estate, Dad was able to enter into the Real Estate Development Business with Ken Smith, (my mother’s brother), Don Bennett, and Harold Budd – and together they did very well. It was not long after that, that Dad then came to me, and offered me the family hardware business. However I declined, because the Lord had called me into His Work and I felt that then was the time to follow the Lord’s calling on my life So we sold the hardware business. | As mentioned the Real Estate Development Business went very well – and life changed for Mom & Dad: They now had the time and money to provide more for my sisters than they had had when my brother and I were growing up. Dad had the time to help with “Hobbies” – a program for children at Granville Chapel every Friday night. Dad had been involved with the CBMC, (the Christian Business Men’s Committee), when I was involved in hardware business, but now he was able to do more And he was also active with the Gideon’s too Dad bought a boat, and enjoyed helping out at the Daybreak Point Bible Camp on Anvil Island – taking the kid’s water-skiing, etc. In fact Dad had several boats over the years. We used to say that he had the disease called “two-foot-itis” – because he would own a boat for a short while and then get one two feet bigger Dad also enjoyed fishing, and he enjoyed taking people out on his boats. Mom & Dad even cruised to Alaska and back on one of their boats Mom & Dad had taken winter vacations to the Palm Springs area each year – because it was a promise he had made to my mother’s parents. Granddad used to tell Dad that you can’t work hard with-out taking a period of rest each year – so that’s what Mom and Dad did, whether they really could afford it or not. It started with one-week vacations, and grew to about 3-4 week vacations when I was living at home, but later it became 4-5 month vacations Mom & Dad also loved to travel, and did so to many places around the world. They particularly enjoyed their trip to and tour of Israel with Benny & Gladys Jones (our speaker today). Dad also took a trip to Pakistan with his brother Andrew, in 1996 for the Fiftieth Anniversary of Andrew’s ministry at the Hospital there that Andrew had started Dad was always interested in missionary work. And with his income from the Real Estate Development work, he was able to support many missionaries. And because of his interest in travel, they were also able to visit missionaries in the Dominican Republic a couple of times. Mom and Dad were also supporters of Terry Winter, and often had Terry and Joan visit them in Palm Springs They had become very good friends with them Dad also liked to golf, but had to stop a few years ago because his health

13: was failing – his arthritis caused him a lot of pain I do not know when it was that my father became a believer in Jesus Christ, but I expect it was at an early age. His parents were both Christians, and as mentioned his oldest brother was a Christian missionary doctor in Pakistan. Also Dad’s parent’s often had missionaries visiting or staying in their home; and they also supported many young people who wanted to go to Bible School Dad took his faith very seriously! Every day we had Bible reading and prayer in our home when I was growing up. In fact, for me growing up at home and in the Plymouth Brethren church, life became very legalistic. There was no question in our home as to what was right and/or what was wrong And we were taught to obey our parents; and not to question them. This carried over into Dad’s business life as well – and Dad became known as “Black and White Karsgaard” Some people liked knowing where they stood with Dad, but others rebelled In business, it was one of the secrets to Dad’s success – and many people trusted Dad because his word was his bond. Also if you did not know before, I want you to understand that what-ever Dad did, it was always motivated by love, and for the well-being of others. Also, Dad was a very sensitive person. Growing up Dad felt, at least for a time, rejected by his parents – being left in Vancouver without his father, from the age of 10-15 approximately. He was the youngest son in his family, and as a result he really felt under- trodden He lived with, and survived many financial setbacks – yet he for example, arranged things so that was able to support his mother in her old age — even though she never fully understood my father’s sacrifice on her behalf Dad wanted more for his children than he had as he was growing up, and sought to do that for his family. Dad was always caring about others Dad also wanted to always be known for being fair, no matter whether it was a business deal, or a family matter. But when people did not give him the respect he wanted, (whether he deserved it or not), he felt cheated and compromised. Dad often had trouble communicating his sensitivity and his love for others In fact, Dad (in his frustration) even got angry at times, because he felt he was being misunderstood. Maybe you can see how all of these traits developed in my father over his life, as I have recounted some of his life for you today | In September this year, Dad was diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma cancer. It started in his chest, and spread from there He had had two chemo treatments; but fluid had entered his lungs, and he was having a very hard time breathing for the past few weeks — until he took his last breath, and the Lord took him home _______________________________ Now back to the email about ‘The Seasons’ If you only had the opportunity to see Dad in one or two of the seasons in his life, I hope today that you will take the time to include the other seasons in his life, in your analysis of him as a person. And in the words of President Bush, (and I will paraphrase), “Please remember me ” In this case, “Please remember Gordon Karsgaard, not so much for his actions, but for his heart” Please remember Dad as a person who had a sensitive heart, who was motivated by love, and always had the desire to give help to people where possible Dad was truly a “caring and sharing kind of person” – at heart... _______________________________ Lastly, you all know I am a missionary and a preacher, and as such I feel I need to say something more (I hope you will bear with me and understand, and appreciate what I have to say) So let me just say that if you have been offended or hurt by Dad during his life, please understand that such was not in his heart to do so And to forgive him, even now, will open the door for you to be able to receive God’s blessing in your life But to harbour bitterness, will prevent you from receiving God’s blessing! Let me just say that again, “to harbour bitterness, will prevent you from receiving God’s blessing; but for you to forgive those who have offended or hurt you, will open the door for you to be able to receive God’s blessing in your life” Jesus said, “Forgive and you will be forgiven, but if you will not forgive then you will not be forgiven. Whatever you do on earth will be bound in heaven” So I encourage you to take just a moment in silence, to personally review, and to remember the life of Gordon Karsgaard; and to remember his “heart” And if necessary, to forgive him for whatever might need to be forgiven

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  • Title: In Loving Memory of C. Gordon Karsgaard
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