A couple days ago, another personally impactful dear saint went to be with the Lord. This person, Eola Dodson was from my hometown in Marissa, Illinois where I grew up from Kindergarten through 11th grade. This was a tiny town, population just around 2200, so most people knew just about everyone by name and face.
Mrs. Dodson was my English teacher in jr. high and high school. Actually during my elementary years, she was actually the school librarian. As a little kid, my first impression was that she was a rather stern, dry personality, but nice enough. However, when I actually had her for a teacher, she taught english in a brilliant methodical manner. I have great understanding of the subject-verb agreement to this day, and I credit her for imparting this knowledge to me. Our classes continued through my first couple years in high school and my respect and fondness for her just grew deeply. Her faith in Christ was evident and she was very kind and compassionate also. I noticed that she had great patience for struggling students also. In a Facebook forum, one former student noted how she showed no partiality to any flashy, popular or intelligent students vs. anyone else average. I realized how true that was.
Mrs. Dodson herself was not a flashy personality who drew popular attention to herself. Therefore she often did not come to mind as a flashy fun-loving teacher. However, she certainly did not lack a sense of humor and she was a willing participant in those classic, hillarious faculty frolics of the late 70s and would also dress in the Meteor attire to display school spirit. She was not necessarily labeled popular, but she certainly was well-loved and respected by the student body.
What was nice about growing up in small-town USA was that many of our teachers were also contacts in the community; active in churches, running to them at local stores, dinners out, or community and school activities. Mrs. Dodson was known as a pillar in the community and a very active member of her local Methodist church. She served as a Sunday school teacher, and was a leader in women's ministry, even on a regional level. She was very much a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother. I actually lived a couple blocks from her so she was considered a good neighbor also.
Her Christlike example and her teaching legacy has impacted countless lives and will pass to generations to come. Now that she is in the heavenly presence of the Lord, I quote Paula Buritsch's statement taken from scripture that God said upon her entrance "well-done good and faithful servant!" Eola Dodson will be missed!