It’s hard to say goodbye to a much-loved family member. This past weekend my father-in-law John Turansky passed away. John had a stroke several years ago and progressively lost much of his memory, but his wife took excellent care of him, making sure he could enjoy his remaining years. As I sort through photos and we get ready to honor him at a memorial service on February 4th, it made me think about the wonderful legacy he has left for us.
John was an energetic pastor who planted several churches and discipled believers for almost 50 years. He memorized hundreds of verses of Scripture and preached practical sermons that touched countless lives. But even more than all those things, I remember the fun family times we shared with him. He loved to play games, especially backgammon and card games. He also enjoyed traveling and liked to take his kids and grandkids on adventures.
He was a very wise and thrifty man, often saying things like: “Do your homework before you spend any money” . . . and . . . “Turn off the lights!” He also loved to share practical advice with young people: “You don’t fall in love – you fall down stairs. You fall in ditches. You plan your love life.” And, “You’ve got to marry someone who is going places.” His most famous saying was added to all his sermons, encouraging us to apply what we’d heard: “So what? How does this apply to me?”
John was always a great encouragement and support to Scott and me as we raised our children. His powerful, positive impact on our children’s lives cannot be measured. He invested love, time, and attention on each one, often making cards and booklets by cutting out photos from magazines to create funny stories, or to illustrate Bible verses or topics. He had a powerful influence on them spiritually. Our oldest son Josh posted about his grandpa’s impact on his life. Even though John lived in Hawaii for many years, he would regularly make the long journey to New Jersey to see his grandkids.
When I think of John, I think of faithfulness . . . devotion to God and family . . . humor and creativity . . . and so much more. He has left us a great expample to follow. He fought the good fight and finished the race well. Now he gets to enjoy heaven, and best of all, see the Savior he loved and served so well all these years.
We love you, Dad. Thank you for leading the way home to heaven.
Would youl like to know more of John’s story? Visit his online memorial page.