Around the winter holiday season Denvy's
experiencing increasing discomfort in her side and back. It was found
to be cancerous. The doctors forwarded her to Mayo Clinic for radiation
treatments. Denvy's sister, Ruth, went and lived with her in the adjoining
cancer patient apartments. Denvy and Gail drove to Rochester, Minnesota
several times to support his mother.
she returned to North Dakota she moved to the Glen Ullin nursing home
as she was too weak to care for herself and the risks of living alone
were too great. As her condition deteriorated, all her children and most
of the grandchildren gathered for a picnic in May. In June she died. Many
of her grandchildren who lived far away came to the picnic instead of
the funeral because they wanted to see grandma alive, not sleeping in
a coffin. This was just three years after the family had gathererd for
her 80th birthday.
The Presbyterian Church-USA meets natinally
every year in different locations around the United States. At the regional
level commissioners to the General Assembly are chosen through a rotation
process and it was Christ's Church's turn now. Denvy was chosen as the
commissioner from Christ's Church and also was selected as vice-chairperson
for the committee on Christology. That committee sponsored a statement
that now represents the church's definition of Jesus Chirst. This all happened
at the same time as Erna's funeral. Flights across country were extensive.
that summer Denvy and Gail led a mission team to Alaska. It was the first
trip designed primarily for adults although the representation of youth
was still strong but mostly from one family.