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Mom, Dad & Harvey at Whittier, Alaska

Mom and Dad visiting Alaska with my dog Harvey at the port of Whittier, Alaska — early ’80s.

As can be seen in this picture, Dad loved Alaska, and they would have moved here had he not gotten sick. He died in 1989. Mom moved to Alaska 2.5 years later.

I raised Harvey, my Irish Setter, from a pup, and had to leave him with Mom and Dad when moving to Montana and Alaska in 1980, because of apartment living and working long hours in summer. I still remember crying on the stairs in our house in Bloomington, Minnesota, the night before leaving him to live out west.

Though we didn’t see eye to eye on everything, Dad was probably close to being the perfect father. He taught me a lot, and introduced me to nature. As a family, we visited all of the contiguous states west of the Mississippi, camping. Glacier National Park probably made the biggest impression. Dad encouraged me to try things, and  gave me space to adventure on my own. Amazing!

Being a people person with a keen eye for detail, he and his brother owned a very successful barbershop in Minneapolis. His handyman skills were also impressive, even building his sister and brother-in-law’s house at age-18. He could fix almost anything.

He left us so early. Doctors couldn’t figure out why, and everything they tried made his condition worse. He was miraculously healed in ~’74, after which he was fine until I encouraged him to attend a church that had a pastor who hid his true emotions…. Ugh! I wish I never would have done that. Churches can be toxic, and I didn’t know at the time how much. Many pastors were never even called to be church leaders, but are confidence men. I write about James-3 cursing in my spiritual blog, having learned a lot the hard way.

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  1. Victoria Bingham

    Jeff, You were very very fortunate to have had your dad, as a father, while you did. He sounds wonderful. Some of us could only wish…
    God bless you,

    • Thanks, Victoria. I agree. I was very blessed! Dad was quite amazing!

      It’s been tougher on Mom to lose her husband so early. Once Dad became a Christian, when he got sick while I was in high school, and just after I dedicated my life to the Lord, he was an incredible husband for Mom. It was sad to see that stop. He lived 16 years as a true Christian after he was supernaturally healed of ‘terminal’ lymph cancer — which never came back.

      I wonder what differences Dad could have made in maybe even helping the spiritual revival to happen, if he were still alive. The large Assembly of God church that held his memorial service (where they probably should have stayed) was packed with people he affected. An important person left early, which has happened to so many good people.

      I wish he would have told me more of what was going on so I would have known more of how to pray.

      I think I said at the memorial service that we have serve God even stronger to take up the slack. But it’s really difficult to walk out part of another’s walk.

      It would have been really awesome had both of them moved up here, like they had planned. Mom just told me he actually got a job here, but had to turn it down because he got ill. He had recently graduated from college, and was going to change occupations in his early ’50s.

      I’ll write this down so I can remember. Mom says he was born 1934 and died in 1989 at age-55.

      One thing about Dad: I’m 99% sure that he died with a clean conscience and in ‘no condemnation,’ (what Romans 8:1 really says) because he lived those last 16 years fighting the good fight, and walking in Christ’s love. He not only dedicated his life to Christ, he did his best to live it. So I’ll be able to see him in heaven as long as I continue to do the same.

      May God bless you too!


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