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    Posted February 28, 2014 by
    Springfield, Missouri

    Until God Calls Us Home


    Esther McClish was born in 1927 in Wayne, Ohio. Harold “Jack” Hunt was born 27 days later in a town 6 miles away. In late 2013, after 66 years of marriage, Jack and Esther went home to heaven a mere 4 days apart. The distinct ending to their love story revealed the profound depth to their relationship—a bond forged on earth and found complete in heaven.


    Jack and Esther met in Sunday School at the age of 4 and their childhood lives intertwined. When they became old enough for dating, nothing—including Jack’s family move to New York and his required military service—could part them.


    They got married at the age of 20 full of love for each other and for life. The young couple lived out their love story each and every day in a humble bungalow on College Avenue. While Esther baked pies in the kitchen and cared for the five sons that would fill their home, Jack ran a tool business out of the back garage.


    Loved ones would later characterize Jack and Esther’s lives as “unselfishly generous.” They lived with open hands and hearts. They gave during times of plenty and gave when their cupboards were sparse.


    Where Jack and Esther chose to invest all they had was in their family. The five sons—Larry, Garry, Terry, Harry, and Jerry—recount that life in the Hunt home was rich with laughter and love. Jack and Esther shared their priority of faith in God and community with the church.


    The genuineness of their example is evidenced in the family who carries their legacy: four of the sons are pastors while one continues Jack’s tool business, and their adult grandkids and young great-grandkids are active in church communities across the country.


    And it was that family who rushed to Esther’s side when Jack was taken to the hospital on December, 24, 2013. As the waiting room filled with loved ones of all ages, prayers and songs of praise overflowed the walls. The next day, December 26, the family would experience heart-piercing loss—a hope for Jack recovering was cut short as the family watched his last breath, and his strong yet gentle spirit left this earth.


    The following 3 days were the longest span of time Esther had been separated from Jack since their marriage day. The family recalls that her countenance changed.


    On December 30, Esther bravely and somberly entered the doors of her beloved’s funeral wearing the pair of high heels that were “Jack’s favorite.” After greeting the hundreds of people who had come to show their love and respect for Jack, Esther’s head silently dropped and her heart stopped.


    Paramedics arrived at the scene and attempted CPR. A family member tearfully recounted a quiet sentence Esther said standing in front of the casket: “I don’t want to go home without Jack.” Even though the family was devastated to lose dear Esther, they could not help but find joy that God had answered Esther’s deepest desire.


    As the family now grieves the loss of both Esther and Jack they find comfort with each other as they share favorite memories. Wanda, Jack’s sister, recalled the sweet sight of 18-year-old Esther running across an airport tarmac to greet Jack when he came home from his army service. As their tears fall, family members smile as they imagine Esther running through heaven’s gates to meet Jack.

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