Sunday, July 18, 2010

Present With the Lord -- Lawrie Jonat

Most of you probably know by now that Carolyn's dad passed away on Monday, July 12, 2010.  Anyone who has more than a passing acquaintance with the work and art of Carolyn Arends knows how much her family means to her -- and, with her great love and appreciation for them shining through in all that she does, she has been able to make them mean quite a lot to us as well.  It was a sad week at Barnabas; but, ultimately, an edifying one.  For, because we live with this great hope that bodily death is not an end, but a beginning; that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living; that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord; the week at Barnabas was a time of reaffirmation, of rededication, of renewed faith in that great hope.   

Here is the obituary from the Vancouver Sun:

JONAT, Lawrence (Lawrie) August 5, 1941 - July 12, 2010 Lawrie passed away peacefully after a determined and incredibly brave fight against P.S.P. He will be greatly missed by his family: Loving wife Joy, daughter Carolyn (Mark Arends), sons Christopher (Rachel) and Cameron (Angela), and grandchildren Benjamin, Bethany, Jaxon, Walker, Phoenix, and Henry. He will also be missed by his brother Terry (Gail), brother-in-law Doug Holcombe (Diane), nephew Lee and nieces Cindy and Kim. Lawrie was a career banker for The Bank of Montreal. After an early retirement, Lawrie and Joy bought an ABC Restaurant which they loved running. Lawrie was very concerned for the disadvantaged, and co-founded The Victim Assistance Organization in New Westminster, The Affordable Housing Society, which provides subsidized housing for thousands of people, and the John Davies Manor. He served on many other boards, was very involved with the Baptist General Conference, and was a church leader at Blue Mountain Baptist for many years. He was also a very accomplished pianist and organist. A memorial service will be held Monday, July 19, AT 2:00 p.m. at Blue Mountain Baptist Church, 450 Blue Mountain Road (at Austin) in Coquitlam. Donations to Blue Mountain Baptist Church or BGC Foundation will be greatly appreciated.

Sign the guestbook here.

If you live in Canada, you can mail a donation to Blue Mountain Baptist Church at the following address:

Blue Mountain Baptist Church
450 Blue Mountain Street
Coquitlam, BC V3K 4K5

(I'm not sure if mailing a check drawn on U.S. funds would be more of a blessing or a curse to BMBC, so I chose the second option, detailed below.)

If you live in the States or in Canada, you can make an online donation to the Baptist General Conference Foundation at this website: Canada Helps.  The link will take you to the BGC Foundation page.

I was lucky enough to have met Carolyn's dad a couple times at concerts.  I can think of no greater tribute to pay to him than to quote from his daughter's liner notes on the album We've Been Waiting For You:  "Dad, thanks for fathering me in such a way that when God was introduced to me as a Heavenly Father, I knew instinctively that He must be a very loving God indeed."  No father could really wish for more.

Please keep the Jonats in your prayers, including her whose name used to be Jonat.  Please pray especially for Carolyn's beautiful, amazing mom, Joy, who has had to say a temporary goodbye to her love.  Remember Carolyn's brothers as well and all the grandkids.  Read, if you can, the chapter from Living the Questions (now Wrestling With Angels) entitled "The Bargain (The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth)" in remembrance of Lawrie.  It's always been Jason's favorite chapter from the book.

May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him in this life; and may we meet him with joy in the next.