Archive for September, 2013


September 3, 2013 1 comment

Upon my Grandfather’s death in December of 1979, my father wrote a loving and beautiful tribute to him entitled ‘He Just Slipped Away.’ Recently my Dad went home to be with Jesus … Now it’s my turn to honor him because in the early morning hours of August 13 my father… just slipped away.

As the old day faded into history, and the new day barely a promise…he just slipped away.

The one who was known in life as William Lowell Fairley, W. Lowell Fairley, Dr. Fairley, Rev. Fairley, Pastor Fairley, Lowell, Billy, Honey, Sweetie, Pop, Dad, Papa, and Grandpa…just slipped away.

His weary and weak body which carried him through life for 86 years took its last breath and his indomitable spirit, set free at last slipped away into the arms of his greatest treasure, the Lord he loved and served all his life.

He was a Lion in the pulpit who wielded words to describe the Christian Life as a Van Gogh wielded his brush to depict a Starry Night, with boldness and authority as one born to it. To many who heard him, his sermons were legendary and life changing with titles like, ‘A Gift in a Brown Paper Bag,’ ‘He Was Older than His Mother,’ ‘God’s Light and Power Company’ and ‘The Amazing Alabaster Box.’

As well as a Fisher of men he was a fisherman. He loved the natural world of God’s creation and all creatures in it great and small…but the sea and all its majesty and glory held a unique sway over him…as the two week family vacations at the beach every year would attest.

This devoted father of one daughter and two sons…just slipped away from us on August 13.

Over the years we watched him slip away from us a little at a time, as Alzheimer’s took its heavy toll. Eventually our names were gone but he knew we were people who loved him very much.

The greatest song in his life was Carol, his wife, partner, companion, lover and best friend for 63 years. When all his other words were gone and lost in a fog somewhere in his mind, ‘Carol’ continued on his lips to end.

I learned to love Jesus from this man who was my father. I spent the day with him before he died. I told him I loved him, and that I would miss him… I do, and I will… then at the beginning of a brand new day this husband, father, pastor and friend… just slipped away.


Pastor Joel

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