I still remember the day I first met Grandpa Friend in his hometown of Soap Lake in the irrigated farmlands of Eastern Washington. Krista and I had been dating awhile, and it was time to meet her extended family. LeRoy Friend raised cows to sell at auction, and was as salt-of-the-earth as they come. I know almost nothing about cows, but I was eager to strike up a conversation. “What are cows selling for at market these days?” I inquired. “You mean on the hoof?” he asked in reply. Totally lost, I hesitatingly offered, “Sure…” “Oh, about ninety-five dollars a hundred-weight.” I’ve since worked out what he was saying, but at the time I was utterly clueless.
We eventually found another, deeper, and better point of connection. LeRoy loved God’s Word. Next to his recliner you could always find his leather Bible worn from use, that is, as long as it wasn’t in his lap. The shelf to his left was lined with Bible commentaries, including a complete set by our own Warren Wiersbe. He loved theology and was overjoyed that his granddaughter was studying the Bible in college. His quiet faith and commitment to the Scriptures were precious hallmarks of his life.
On June 16, 2022, Grandpa LeRoy Thomas Friend went home to be with Jesus after a 91-year pilgrimage on earth, including 68 years of marriage with his sweetheart, Grandma Florence. We cherish the time we had with him and rejoice in the glories that are now his in Christ. He was a simple farmer with a deep faith and an enormous legacy.
And he was loved, more than he knew.
But he certainly knows now.