Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Whole Story

If you want to read the whole story, go to .

In the initial post, I recap all the e-mails I had sent out.

Then just select "Newer Post" and you can read the story as it unfolded.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Life After Trudie

The End of one Journey

The Bartkus Battle is over. Jesus won; death lost. Trudie is celebrating on streets of gold.

A New Blog

In the mean time, I'm continuing to trust and follow Jesus. I'm starting out on a new journey. I have no idea where it will lead.

I've started a new blog. I've titled it "Adventures in Following Jesus." You can find it at (Where Will Jesus Lead).

Come along and see where this adventure takes me next.

Trudie's Obituary

Here is a link to Trudie's obituary in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. You can e-mail it by referring to

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Memorial Service

Memorial Service

On Tuesday, November 27, 2007, the Memorial Service for Trudie was held at North Point Community Church.

Below is the program and links to the videos (the audio is not very good so turn your speakers up):

The Celebration of the Life of

Trudie Bartkus

August 20, 1949 --- November 22, 2007

Pre-Service Music Mr. Bill DeLoach

Greeting and Invocation Mr. Cliff Atfield

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing Congregational Hymn

Psalm 23 Mr. Drew Leonard

On Christ The Solid Rock Congregational Hymn

Eulogy Ms. Laura Clifford

Personal Remembrances The Myrtles - Jeannie

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Mr. Paul Hanna

Jeremiah 29:10-12

The Gardner’s Gloves Rev. Dr. Bob Culver Part 1 Part 2

Benediction Rev. Dr. Bob Culver

Dismissal and Information Mr. Cliff Atfield

If I can find a way to post the text of the comments, I'll do that.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's A Lot of Decisions

With a Little Help from My Friends

The visitation is tomorrow evening. To get to this point I've had to make a lot of decisions. Let me walk you through the decisions I've had to make. Luckily, I've had the help of a number of caring friends who have been with me all along.

The first big decision was:
  • The Funeral Home
After Trudie died Thursday night, we had to decide on who was to pick up her body or they would have sent it to the county morgue that night. So we didn't have much time to investigate many options. The decision I made was based more upon convenient location to me than anything else.

I had asked a friend to investigate various funeral home options - thinking that we had weeks before the end. Unfortunately, the suddenness of Trudie's death caught the friend before they really had a chance to pursue many options. Luckily, our church has dealt with a number of funeral homes and had a couple of options that they suggested. We chose Roswell Funeral Home.

When I say "we" what I mean is that I decided with the help of some very close friends who flew to my side that night. They were there at the hospice in less than an hour after I called them. They have been my other half-of-a-brain through out these days.

Meetings, meetings, meetings

The next day I had to make many more decisions. The first was:
  • The overall structure of the process
We decided on the night-before visitation/viewing and next-day funeral setup. I felt that the most people could be able to say goodbye to Trudie with this. The next decision was:
  • Where to hold the visitation/viewing & the funeral
We decided that the v/v could be at the funeral home and the funeral it self could be at our church. Then the next big decision was:
  • When to hold the visitation/viewing & the funeral
We had to coordinate with the funeral home and the church but that helped decide the dates. We also wanted to be sensitive to those who would be wanting to come from out of town.
  • Funeral Home services, casket, and grave liner/vault
These were the next decisions and the most expensive. I mean really BIG BUCKS here! I didn't ask if pre-purchasing could have saved us any money but it was definitely sticker-shock to see what such services cost.
  • What Song Style
The song style determined what and how many musicians needed to be lined up. This decision, too, needed to be made early. Luckily, Avery knew what were Trudie's favorite hymns and I like them too. So we went with a keyboard player / group singing leader.
  • Minister
Rev. Dr. Robert Culver (AKA "Uncle" Bob) had married Trudie and me little more than 16 years ago on a chilly morning in the Smokie Mountains. He has remained a dear and precious family friend. He graciously agreed to conduct the service where we are saying our goodbyes to Trudie. Uncle Bob is the head of a ministry to international students and scholars - read all about it at
  • Pallbearers
I needed to decide and ask guys who would be representatives of all areas of Trudie's circles of influence. I am appreciative of the guys who have answered my call for service.
  • Order of Service
This was a biggie and a tough one. Uncle Bob had a template for an order of service that he typically uses. Filling in the blanks of the template was daunting. I had to decide what hymns to sing when, ask various people to do various parts, etc.

All in all it has been a lot of work. Like I've said, I have been operating on only half-of-a-brain for at least a couple of months. Now I have even fewer brain "noodles" on-line. So my good friends that have been with me have been invaluable to me. They offered awesome advice and help during this time. I thank you every one.

Help your Heirs

Trudie and I had discussed some of the above details but not much. Most of what I have had to decide were S.W.A.G.s. My friends and I made the best guesses we could on most of the things we had to decide.

Do your heirs a favor - talk about these issues. We will all someday be as Trudie is now - dead. How can you help, today, those left behind? There are lots of questions I still didn't get around to asking Trudie. I can't ask now. You have time now to investigate these issues and to discuss these issues with your loved ones especially your spouse. Just say, "Sweetie, with Trudie's passing it has got me thinking about my own passing..." It will be hard; it will take courage; it probably won't be fun. And your spouse will love you more for initiating it.

By the way, you do have a will don't you?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Funeral Details

Time line

Viewing and Visiting - Monday, Nov 26th, 6 PM to 8 PM Roswell Funeral Home

Service - Tuesday, Nov 27th, 10 AM at Northpoint Community Church


Roswell Funeral Home, 950 Mansell Road, Roswell, GA 30076 770-993-4811

View Larger Map

Northpoint Community Church, 4350 Northpoint Parkway, Alpharetta, Georgia 30022

Here are the directions on the Church's Web Site.

Floral Hills Memory Gardens, 3000 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker, GA 30084
Directions will be handed out at the church.

Instead of flowers:
Please consider a donation to Trudie's favorite charity:

Salvation Army

Online at
Phone 1-800-SAL-ARMY (or 800-725-2769)
Salvation Army
Atlanta Area Command
PO Box 95766
Atlanta, GA 30347

How am I doing?

I guess I'm doing pretty well considering...

I have made all these plans today with the help of some very dear and close friends. They were my other half of my brain since I'm only working on half a brain for sure. My brother, sister and brother-in-law are with me now and we will spend the evening together.

I'm very sad to say the least but I know she is in a better place and is not in any pain. I am still taking things one day at a time. God is in control and Jesus is helping me every step of the way. Thank you all for the outpouring of support I've had. I appreciate it. If I don't answer each personally please forgive me.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Trudie has passed on to Glory

Dear Friends and Family,
It is with great earthly sadness that I must inform you of Trudie's passing from this life into the next. Patrick received a phone call from Heartland Hospice this Thanksgiving day evening sometime around 8:15 pm that Trudie had passed on. She and Patrick both fought so hard. They were thankful to be out of the hospital, for them to able to converse, and for Trudie to be more comfortable. I know of no other details at this time, but I will post them as I learn more.

When I spoke to Patrick he was on his way to the hospice having just heard this sad news. Your prayers and support, in so many ways, have been helpful and appreciated. God has called Trudie to her new home with Him and all who believe, prepared well in advance for her glorious arrival. She is at peace and she is well. All who knew her in this life will surely miss her. Let us all join in prayer for Patrick and all who grieve Trudie's passing. She will be missed. The Holy Spirit is The Great Comforter and He is near to all who are broken hearted. May you find Him now.

Trudie knew the truth expressed in Hebrews 10:19 and following: "And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him... Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise."

I will post funeral details as I learn them.

Paul Hanna