By Pegi Quinn, a daughter
Roy was a son, a brother, an uncle, a lover, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a lifelong companion and friend. He was a salesman, a baseball fan and gardener. A comedian, a storyteller, and an all-around charmer.
He was known as Dad or Uncle Roy or Grandpa Turtle, Mr. Landwehr or Mr. Leeds. Roy was all of these and more. He was a man of great faith, a man of integrity, a man of strength, a man of commitment and a man of love.
He and Sophia managed to raise their eight children in a home where we felt loved, safe, and secure. He was a mentor, a teacher, a helper, and a guide. He was the rock on whom we all leaned, the tree from which we grew. He was also the boss who demanded much - as some of my brothers and sisters who ever worked in his store can attest. And he was the father you didn't want to call late at night to tell him his car was stuck in the arroyo where you shouldn't have been.
He was a kitten-getter-downer, a doll-house architect, a stairs builder and a turtle sustainer. He was lovable and frustrating, hard-headed and sometimes hot-tempered. He cheated at Yahtzee, but was a darn good bridge player. He was the man who grew a yard beautiful enough to be married in and fun enough to play in.
Our dad was so many things. He touched the lives of each of us here this evening. He was not perfect, at least not until last Wednesday afternoon when he was called home and was made perfect in God.
We love him and his passing leaves a void in our lives. Roy will always be a part of us and we a part of him. And I suppose this is the reality and the beauty of the circle we call life. God bless you all for being here with us as we simultaneously mourn Roy's passing and celebrate his life.
By Pegi Quinn, with a little help from her friends
I learned recently that Sophia was the guard on her high school basketball team - pretty remarkable when you consider that she was only 5'3" at her tallest. But then, there are many remarkable things about our mother.
During the long hours of the past few weeks, while she was so ill, I tried to think of a way to share with all of you how very dear she was to me and to all who love her. As the family gathered, we shared our feelings and our thoughts about Sophia. The following letter to her is a collection of those sentiments - written to share with you.
Words like good, strong, courageous, committed, tenacious, sweet, faithful, loving, ornery, proud, single-minded, hard-working, shy, beautiful and dignified come to mind when we think about you. We think about the courage it took for you and Dad to leave behind family and friends in Kansas so that your eldest son would have a better quality of life in the clean mountain air of Santa Fe. We think about the commitment it took to raise your eight children in a home where we each felt safe, secure and loved. We try to imagine the strength it took to live through the physical and emotional trauma of a radical mastectomy, or to endure the pain of a son's death, or to remain independent after Dad died last March. Your spirit is amazing. As long ago as I can remember, prayer has been a part of your life, and you made it a part of ours. You taught us how truly important prayer and deep-rooted faith are in making life whole. You must be anxious to bask in God's glory.
Looking at your wonderful hands reminds us of all the work they've done and the love they've offered. They worked in the fields on the farm, held babies, soothed sick children, and hugged weary bodies. They lovingly created the most delectable cinnamon rolls and comforted grandchildren with the best sugar bread in the entire world. They upholstered furniture and made throw pillows to brighten our homes. They crafted dresses with little purple flowers on them and elegant prom gowns.
You've been ornery to the end, amazing even the doctors with your tenacity. We used to think that the stubborn streak in each of us came from Dad, but it's clear to us now that those genes came directly from you. You've maintained your dignity and grace even through these past weeks. Saying "please" and "thank you" to your care givers, apologizing for creating extra work, worried that the visitors had food and comfortable places to sit and sleep. Wondering if the house was clean, if the drapes were drawn and the kitchen blinds closed.
Together you and Roy were the center, the very core of our family. It is hard to imagine life without you. How we will miss your smile and the sound of your voice. But it's okay for you to go. Go in peace, knowing that your spirit will be with us always. We know that God is waiting to embrace you fully and we know that you will finally be home. Dear, sweet Sophia, you are most beautiful with your cloud of white hair and your time-worn face. How blessed we've been to be able to call you Granny, Grandma, Mom.