Jeff's Grandpa Harold - Remembering, Celebrating, Anticipating

This is a special blog post. A week ago today my husband's sole surviving grandparent, his grandpa Harold, passed away after nearly 100 years of life on this earth. His funeral was last Thursday and my husband was asked to say some things about his grandpa. Since many of Jeff's cousins and other family members couldn't make it to the funeral, we wanted to share Jeff's words about his grandpa with you on this platform. What follows in the rest of this post are Jeff's words. He delivered it beautifully to the congregation. We pray his memories and message bless you as his grandpa was a blessing to all of us who knew him.

                Evening family and friends.  Tonight we are given the privilege to remember Harold Victor Forsberg.  If you don’t know who I am, I am Jeff Forsberg.  Harold was my grandfather.  I, along with my sister, was blessed to grow up next to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  I was down there all the time.  Their house was like a second home. 
                So many people have so many great memories of my Grandpa Harold.  I know I have a ton.  I remember when he taught me how to coast down the hill in the driveway at my house on my blue banana seated bike.  Grandpa was sitting on the seat of the bike going down the hill, his legs sticking straight out in a V.  Another thing I remember was that he and my Grandma, Lillian, would come out to Way Dam for the day when my family was camping on an island.  Camping was great, but the big thing was when they would show up.  They would come out for dinner, and Grandpa would go swimming with us way out in the middle of the lake.  We would need life jackets just to go out that far and stay out as long as we did.  You have to remember that he was in his 70s-80s when he did this.  My sister, Jean, just reminded me the other day that he was doing handstands in the water at 80.
                He loved to hunt.  He hunted almost his entire life.  I know he hunted Ruffed grouse, bear, and most of all deer.  I am sure Harold hunted other things too.  The last deer he shot, my dad and I went to help him get it.  I was dragging out what happened to be a little doe.  I was dragging it pretty fast and my dad was telling me under his breath to slow down so that Grandpa would not think it was so small.  He did shoot his fair share of bucks, even the year before.  I believe he got an 8 point buck in the fields by his house.
                The thing I remember best though about Harold, were the stories.  He had so many stories.  I remember him talking about hunting during the Depression era.  One time, Grandpa told me that he was canning venison in the summer with Lillian, the whole house reeking of said canned venison and the Game Warden showed up.  The Warden came in and said something to the extent of “Hey, Harold.  I am going to try and bust your friend so you better not go out hunting.”  And then the Game Warden left. 
                I remember him telling me that onetime his friends had found a bear that they wanted to shoot but they did not think that they could make the shot so they went and got Harold.  Grandpa was a good shot.  So anyways he ends up shooting the bear for them, and he ends up with some of the meat.  Later he ends up feeding this to his in-laws.  So everyone is enjoying the meal.  Grandpa has not told them that it is bear that they are eating.  During the middle of the meal Harold asks his father-in-law how he likes the meat they are eating to which his father-in-law says it was real good.  Grandpa then proceeds to tell him that it is bear that they are eating and his father-in-law did not eat another bite.
                Another one that I remember was that WWII was going on and that he was getting ready to ship out to Basic Training.  Harold was supposed to leave in a day or two.  Somehow he was at a machine shop and the guy who ran the place found out that he was a machinist.  The guy said you’re not going anywhere and you are going to work here.  So for the entire time during the war, my grandpa made axles for M4 Sherman tanks.  Being that I was in the Guard, I have seen a few military bases.  They tend to use tanks as monuments.  I have seen my fair share of Sherman tanks, and thinking now, did he make parts for a tank that I saw?  Most likely not, but it is possible. 
                Another story I remember him telling me as a young impressionable boy and throughout when I was older, was of him blowing things up as a kid.  He would blow up trees dynamite along with his brothers.  He also would fish with some other type of explosives.  Can you imagine doing this stuff for fun?  As many of you know me, I dream of blowing stuff up.  He got to do it, the cops were not called, and everyone had a good time. 
                On a more serious note, Harold loved his wife and family.  He loved Lilian so much.  They went on so many adventures together.  Camping all over, including many trips to Canada and Way Dam.  I remember that they always were together.  They just loved being with each other.  They were blessed to be married just shy of 65 years.  I know that I hear that, and say I wish that I would have that too.  He loved his children.  I could tell that he loved having them over to spend time with him.  Because of that, along with Grandma’s help, he fostered a love in this family that I have not seen in many other places.  We always would be getting together.  It was like a family reunion all the time.  He would take the entire family out to dinner all the time, his kids, grandkids, spouses, even friends that ended up being there.  He loved being with us.  I know that he loved being with his friends too.  He and Lillian were great friends with Nada and Fred.  Nada was like another grandma almost because of how close Harold and Lillian were with them.  There was Tony and Mim too.  I wish I had more stories of them but those are for someone else to tell.

                The most important thing about Grandpa was and is that he knows Jesus Christ.  For that reason I know, and we can all know, that Harold is in heaven now.  Harold was not a perfect man just as none of us are.  For that reason He knew that he need a savior.  God hates sin so much that Hell was created and yet He loved us so much, us who offended God’s perfect holiness, that He sent Jesus to die for our sins.  Jesus, who is perfect in every way, took what we deserved.  Harold knows this now better than any of us.  We live in a fallen world, all because mankind’s sin caused it be cursed and now we think it is normal when it is not.  I know that people don’t want to hear this always but I know Harold right now would want you to hear this.  I have heard that people say, “go to Hell for the company and Heaven for the climate.”  I will agree the climate is infinitely better in heaven, but honestly the best company is in heaven.  I have the joy of knowing that most of my family knows the Lord.  That means I get to have family reunions forever.  More importantly, all who truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are adopted into God’s family.  The royal family of God.  That is where Harold is now.  He, who was born a sinner, is now a Prince and Jesus who is God, his brother. Praise God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
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