Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
September 24, 1923 – May 30, 2016
This photo was taken in June of 2012
Evelynne Bahn passed from this life in her sleep last night. Suzie, my sister, had just been with her over the weekend and had left to return to her family less than 12 hours prior to Mom’s death. I had been with her the weekend before. So we are at peace even though our distance prevented us from being there as much as we would have wished.
When the phone call came at 2:20 this morning, it showed as being from “Evelynne Bahn” but I knew it was the Lutheran Home nurse, and it was as I had thought: Mom had passed away and they were calling to let me know. Worries about her enduring a prolonged suffering and death, anxiety about not being able to be with her as much as we would have wished, and any number of other concerns for her wellbeing can now be put to rest. She now rests in peace with Jesus.
I am thankful for many things that this woman brought into my life. Faith in Jesus Christ was clearly of vital importance to her. She made sure we went to Sunday School and Church every Sunday – even during a time when my dad took a sabbatical from church for a period of time. He eventually went back and was faithful in worship attendance, and she was right along side him. She taught me Jesus Loves Me, and other hymns and songs, and Bible verses. Just the other day, I recited Psalm 23 to her over the phone, a passage that she had helped me memorize many years ago.
I recall how she would insist that we have God’s Minute, a daily devotional reading from a book by that title that I still have today. She taught Sunday School, and both she and Dad sang in the choir at First Baptist Church. Her dad was a Baptist preacher, and many of her childhood memories that she shared revolved around some of the very difficult times they experienced, as she grew up “in the dustbowl of Oklahoma during the Great Depression.” She talked about having only some potatoes and once in a while a chicken if some church member was particularly generous. It was a hard life, and she was a little concerned when I decided to “make a minister” (her term for studying to be a pastor). I wonder if she thought I would experience similar hardship – which thankfully I have not.
She had been a faithful member of First Baptist Church, and then First General Baptist Church, both in Cape Girardeau. She had a strong faith in Jesus, and Suzie and she “had church” on Sunday morning, looking at how God had answered the prayers of Paul and Silas, as recorded in Acts 12 and 16. Mom was also involved in a large number of religious, civic and social clubs in Cape Girardeau, Missouri where she lived for most of her life. Her list:
- Rose Hills Garden Club
- Executive Club
- Missouri State Teachers Association
- First Baptist Church Choir
- Dodson Missionary Circle – First Baptist Church
- Illinois Education Association
- Vice President, Sands motel
- Best Western Association of Motel Owners
- Missouri Motel Association Member
- American Motor Hotel Association
- Volunteer for Southeast Hospital
- Wednesday Club President
- Member Dorcas Circle – First General Baptist Church
- Member Community Concert Association, Board
- Volunteer at Senior Center – Cape Girardeau
- Toastmasters Club Member
- Exchangettes Club Member
Mom was a driving force in our family. She encouraged, urged, cheered-on, and continually sought to see our motel and other business endeavors succeed. She did not give up easily, and after my father died she held out for the top dollar she could get for the Sands Motel, which she had started with Dad in 1953. From five rooms, through 17 different additions or significant improvements the motel grew to 42 rooms, a swimming pool, restaurant building, and paved parking lot. Each of those were no little accomplishments for a mom and pop organization from the ground up.
She was also a teacher – having been thrust into even administrative responsibilities in Lutesville, Missouri, when during WW II, she served as a principal, actually signing the high school diploma for one of her younger brothers. She taught in Illinois and southeast Missouri for a number of years, and would regularly have former students express their love and appreciation to her in the later years of her life.
Our family lived at 917 Bellevue Street in Cape Girardeau, where she lived until she moved to Saxony Village – an independent living arm of the Lutheran Home in Cape. In September of 2015 she moved into the Lutheran Home’s Assisted Living – West unit, until after a couple of falls she was moved to the Skilled Care area. After her most recent fall she was put under hospice care and within a week was taken from this life. She now rests with Jesus in the firm hope of the resurrection and the great joy and promise of eternal life.
She was preceded in death by a daughter, Kathryn Elizabeth, her husband, Louis William, and her daughter, Barbara Lynne Bahn Lorhmann. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, June 8 in Cape Girardeau. More details will follow as plans are more fully set.
She is survived by a son, David Bahn, and his wife Diane in Cypress, Texas, and a daughter, Carolyn Suzanne Bahn Hancock, and her husband Stanley in Sheridan, Arkansas. She has eight grandchildren: Matthew Bahn, Timothy Bahn, Aaron Bahn, Stephen Bahn, Emily Lohrmann, Riley Lohrmann, Katelyn Hancock, and Carley Hancock, and nine great grandchildren: Shelby Duff, James Bahn, Andrew Bahn, Bekah Bahn, Audrey Bahn, Peter Bahn, Morgan Bahn, Jacqueline Bahn, and Naomi Bahn.
She indicated that the passages below, together with “Romans 8” would be used at her memorial service. She requested the hymns, It is Well With My Soul, Abide with Me, and What a Friend we Have in Jesus. She also requested “How Could I Keep From Singing (of which I am not familiar), and Handel’s Alleluia Chorus from the Messiah.
[Jesus says,] “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes,who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.