April 5, 2002—Happy birthday, Julian! A bunch of your family joined for dinner this evening to celebrate your birthday. We all miss you, dear friend!

Julian would have been eighty-five years old on April 5, 2002.

Julian & Louise On 50th Anniversary

Meet Becky’s paternal grandparents, Julian and Louise Baldree. Julian passed away on July 19, 2000, from a fast and relentless cancer. He was eighty-two years old. Julian is the nicest person I’ve ever met. Everyone in the family sorely misses Julian. And the people of Julian’s hard-working, small hometown of Nashville, Georgia, miss him, too. There were perhaps two hundred or more people who attended Julian’s funeral. Such a large turnout wasn’t expected because Julian was laid to rest on a weekday.

The above picture was taken on Julian and Louise’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. August 14, 2001, would have been their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary. Julian and Louise are two of the finest folks you could ever meet. Julian’s favorite way to spend an afternoon was snoozing on his back porch. Louise enjoys the afternoon soaps, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Alan Jackson, and occasional shopping with her daughters and granddaughters.

Julian’s grandson Curry wrote a poem and read it at Julian’s funeral. It appears in its entirety below. (Or you may wish to download a printer-friendly version of Curry’s poem. The printer-friendly version requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you probably already have.)

Dear Papa

I have written these words, for this is my way
Of saying the things I want you to hear
Though I wish I had not waited until today
I know you can hear me and I feel you are near.

For eighty-two years you watched this world change
From both the World Wars to men walking in space
But throughout all of this, one thing has always remained
Your friends and your family above all you did place.

You showed love and compassion for all that you met
There was no other way you knew how to live
Not a person you’ve known will ever forget
Your incredible heart and willingness to give.

All the times that you and I spent together
I found strength in your words, comfort in your eyes
And although I thought both of us would go on forever
Your call as an angel is not a surprise.

By God’s grace you were there to see me succeed
As a baby, a child, and now a young man
You have done all that you could for all that I need
And I thank you so much for holding my hand.

Right now all of this seems so surreal
We never thought of the day when you would be gone
With the hurt and the pain that all of us feel
You should know in our hearts you will always live on.

I can see you right now on the bright streets of gold
Walking with those just as beautiful as you
Making new friends and seeing those of old
While watching over us in everything that we do.

I love you so much that my soul is weeping
For I never envisioned just how it would end
But I know I shall see you each night as I’m sleeping
Holding hands and laughing with you, Papa, my dear friend.

—S. Curry Flowers (©2000 S. Curry Flowers)

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

This page was modified May 4, 2003; April 5, 2002; and August 13, 2001