By Jeanie Summerville
What’s up, babies?
As always, I hope all is well with you and yours and that, you’re still taking time out of yours days to bring yourselves and others some well deserved joy, beauty, happiness and some form of peace of mind. On that note, it pleases me that, as we travel on our journey of love to get to know one another better, I get to meet some awesome people such as Richard who made my life a little easier because he’d always made me laugh and I appreciated that because I always need that.
I remember Richard from back in the day, when I’d visit the church that my friend Flora attended but I really had the pleasure to enjoy him and his wit as I sat in on Metro Youth Sports meetings for MYS Special Edition in Frost Illustrated for the past three years at Link’s. Since I’m not a sports girl, he helped make the meetings enjoyable for me and I would always thank him for that. So to bring some love to his family, friends and everyone else who loved him, we bring to you this Gift of Love from Frost Illustrated that features some of his friends sharing some good times they had together, in loving remembrance of Minister Richard Whitfield.
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Jim Winters and I’m the president of Metro Youth Sports and Richard Whitfield served under MYS board for 10 years and he was an outstanding board member. He loved to work with children as a mentor, an educator and as an advisor. He also worked hard at raising money to help children pay their fees and he’s also a religious leader for MYS children. Richard Whitfield was an advocate and a drum major for our community and our children and to say that, I’m quite sure that being in Heaven, he will be awarded a good and faithful servant because Richard enjoyed saving his community and the children.
“He’s a very religious person and a very educated person in the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelations and he’d always speak to God because it was something that he loved to do and the children was involved in learning about the spirit and about God so they can have that basis for their lives. I’m going to miss him because we’ve been good friends for almost 30 years and I’m still grieving.”
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Lee Murphy. Richard and I went to Central High School together; I graduated in 1968 and he graduated in ’69 but I’ve known him since we were kids and therefore, we did a lot of things together just goofing off because he was a real jokester. I remember being in school and one guy in study hall said to Richard, he was going to jump him and Richard told him, you’re not going to get a reputation for jumping on me but think about it—if you jump on me and don’t whip me, you’re going to be talked about for the rest of your life. Because Richard was very strong, as far as his upper body and he weighed about 260lbs from his waist up. There was also a friend of ours named Lamont Williams and he and Richard always went at it jokingly and he also knew a lot about the Bible too. Tthey’d sit down at Link’s and talk to Tommy Clancy and they’d carry on all day long about what the scriptures in the Bible and what it means. And, I said, anybody who was going to try and join church, listening to ya’ll talk about it, will run them away.
“But, Richard knew the Bible inside and out and I have a Bible at home that he gave me and I’m always going to cherish it now because it came from him. We always had a lot of fun together, we did a lot of things in church together and I’m going to truly miss him. He was like a brother to me and he loved his family especially his daughter Precious, he spent a lot of time talking about her and he was a very sharp dresser. Me and Lamont called him Boss Tweed because he had this tweed outfit that he wore and he loved it when we called him that. I miss him but he’s in a better place now and Lamont, passed away in 2009 so I know, him and Richard are up in Heaven raising a $1,000 worth of sand and they got the Lord’s belly rolling in laughter.”
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is James Redmond and I’ve known Richard for a long time, every since he was a kid. But, we started attending the same church and grew as friends and he’s been a long time friend of mines. I remember when his daughter Precious was born just a little thing and now she’s a grown woman. I’m really going to miss him over at Link’s because he had a lot of knowledge and he could express himself very well and I liked that about him. I’m going to really miss him along with a lot of other people who are going to miss him. He never complained he wanted to lift everybody up.”
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Ovadyahu Ben-Tsvulun and Richard and I grew up together on Douglas Street, initially and I know is family. As we got older, we went to Link’s quite often to fellowship and although Richard may not agree with you eye to eye on any idea, he was always willing to listen and to share his comments. He would give you the insight that he learned from the Bible and from his experience and teachings. He was a wonderful guy and you couldn’t help but like him because he’d always make you laugh and he could tell a story.
“Also, we’d always try to shuffle our skills and our thinking process, so we would always get into very deep discussions about who the Heavenly Father is and what the scriptures really mean. And, we realized that, it’s about what the Bible means and what it says because not knowing what it means, you can’t make the application. So we were trying to acquire those principles of scriptures into our everyday living and I miss him a lot. I’d pick him up and take him where he wanted to go and we’d go over to his brother Luther’s church at New Covenant and have Bible Study together and things such as that.
“He was a very good friend of mine and we’d play chess together from time to time but he stopped playing once he beat me because he didn’t want me to win again. But, he was a wonderful easy-going guy and Richard really had the ability to discuss things and not to use his handicap as a means to get sympathy, he always wanted to do everything himself. When we were younger we played baseball, shot baskets, we did everything and we didn’t look at him as handicapped. We looked at him as a brother and he was one of the guys who helped me persevere and stop asking, who and why is me? Rather, if there’s something I need to overcome work at it and he had that kind of influence on people and he’s a loving person and I’m going to miss him and we’re brothers, brothers in Christ.”
Now in closing I say, we love you Richard and we’ll miss you. So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie. Bye bye, babies.