Daddy’s New Home!

My father, Edwin Knepp, died last Sunday morning following a very lengthy illness. He was 84 years old and full of days.

He was an awesome husband and father, a faithful pastor for forty years, and a very patient sufferer in his very painful illness. He had one focus, and that Focus gave him his love for people, his cheerful countenance and wisdom to live his life according to the Scriptures. His life was truly amazing; not because he was amazing, but because he trusted the one and only amazing God.

Daddy’s illness reduced him to a crust of what he once was. It was hard! No one would minimize just how hard. As the weeks followed one another and Daddy’s suffering became worse and worse, he wanted us to read the Bible to him more and more. He loved every word of it! It was literally his food and water. So when he died God answered our prayers that the passing would be as easy as stepping from one room to the next because The Holy Spirit was there. He walked through the valley with Daddy and transported his soul to the land of milk and honey, where he is singing praises at the Throne of the Savior, his Savior, and our Savior.

Below are some photos of the days surrounding this event in our family’s lives. (There are 72 of us in just our family of Mama, us children, the grandchildren, great grandchildren and our spouses. We are scattered across the globe so it took us a little longer than most families to gather around.)


Daddy’s little caregiver. (Great granddaughter)


My brother and his wife (on the right) cared for Daddy and Mama.


Mama and her caregivers, her daughter-in-law and daughter.


Daddy’s hand and mine.


Mama, holding Daddy’s hand. They were married 62 years.


This was taken only hours before Daddy passed on. It was so peaceful outside, as though angels were there to comfort us. Inside, we had to cry because of Daddy’s pain and suffering.


The family gathered around Daddy’s bed and sang that beautiful hymn, “Safe In The Arms of Jesus.” His mouth moved as though he wanted to sing along. Shortly after the singing ended he took his last breath and was released from his feverish body to go Home to breathe celestial air forever and ever!


Planning the funeral service.


Welcoming her missionary sister (who hasn’t been home in nearly four years) home!!


Lots of neighbors and friends dropped by the first few days. Here’s a friend’s daughter playing with my grandson.


The granddaughters took charge of feeding the family.


My sisters worked fast to make Mama a new dress for the funeral.



Decisions, decisions. My brothers took charge and gave us the leadership we needed.


The grandchildren worked hard and fast to make hundreds of memory cards to give to the visitors at the visitation, and copies of the songs we would sing at the funeral to be inserted into the bulletins.


There were approximately 425 visitors at the visitations. We held two because we knew it would be a crowd.


Thursday morning, cool, overcast, and peaceful inside and out.


The funeral was held at the Magnolia Mennonite Church, where Daddy pastored from the beginning of that church in 1959 until 1996 when he stepped aside for younger leadership.


Following the funeral service our family gathered once more around Daddy’s earthly body and sang “Safe In The Arms Of Jesus,” one last time.


Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.” Among the hundreds of family, friends, relatives, congregants, and old acquaintances, we committed Daddy’s body back to the Creator who had made it.


First our immediate family took turns covering Daddy’s grave, then other relatives, including grandchildren and great grandchildren, and finally friends and people of his congregation.



The children were greatly interested in what was happening to PawPaw Knepp’s body. It was a great teaching opportunity concerning the resurrection of our souls and the wonderful plan of Salvation.


This photo was taken in 1975 of our family and pet, Skippy. (If you must know, I’m on the far right in the pink dress and Grandma shoes.) I asked permission from Julia Graber to share it here. Follow this link to her very interesting blog, My Life As A Quilter




13 thoughts on “Daddy’s New Home!

    • It was always our pleasure, Thelma. Really truly. I think that was a lot because Daddy didn’t exclude us even though he had the ministry on his shoulders. He carried a heavy load at times but we never detected it at the time.


    • Thank you very much. You know what it’s like to lay a loved one in the grave (thank God, its only their no longer needed body) and go back home to an empty chair, an empty room, and a very sore spot in your heart. Thank God for His way of comforting us. And thank you for reaching out to me today.


  1. Dear Jewel I am so sorry for your loss but Glory to God your wonderful father is in the Presence of our heavenly Father praising Him… My prayers and thoughts are with you. Sending you love ❤


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