May 1, 2013
Dear Steve and Marcia,
For so many years you have been wonderful and special friends who have impacted our lives greatly. Back when we were somewhat new to the church, you both were very welcoming and friendly and continue to reach out to new people in our church family in this manner to the present, helping make the church extended family for us and many others. We have taken that gift of fellowship from you and have tried to pass it on to others throughout the years.
When Steve was in the process of leaving his teaching position at West High School; we, along with numerous others, sought to return in kind your many thoughtful acts to us and other church members by providing Steve with a bullet-proof vest (not then provided by the Department) to show you and your family the church community’s caring, love and support. Steve then went on to a distinguished career as a detective with the Madison Police Department as well as a teacher of other officers and a teacher of driver safety courses for older adults and weinermobile drivers. Jack’s problem of backing into other vehicles and clicking off mirrors was alleviated by Steve’s admonition to use ‘go throughs’ in parking lots to avoid having to back up. Problem resolved and parking lot anxiety relieved.
You both have been ‘can do’ role models for reaching out and helping others, being leaders in so many different ways. Under your leadership, we have participated together in Interfaith Hospitality Network (The Road Home) activities including setup, takedown, overnight host, shopper, tv and game host, meal preparation and so on-making it a special part of our church life. We have shared involvement in almost every aspect of church life for many years with your innumerable kind words and acts of support being a hallmark of those activities.
Steve’s volunteer involvement with Bob Heideman’s RSVP volunteer program and Marcia’s with Attic Angels are the tip of the iceberg in terms of a ministry of caring that is legendary in our community. Part of that is running the MSCR pontoon boat program that allows Madison area people access to boating and the beauty of our lakes. We have been so impressed seeing you both out there assisting in the joy that so many experience when out on the water.
Steve helped “Capt” Marilyn to find a pontoon boat about ten years ago and to try it out and put it through its paces on the Rock River before the purchase. Oh, what a wild ride you went on with Marilyn skipping the boat for the first time in high seas and a 25mph wind to go to Lake Mendota and the Nautigal and back. Marilyn did well under difficult circumstances under Steve’s steady guidance and Marcia’s gentle encouragement. Great sports you were, es pecially Marcia, putting up so graciously with the splashing water and the bumpy, rocking ride. Neither of you ever complained about being cold and wet. Steve continued to help us, his technically challenged friends, get our boat in and out, winterize and summerize it and tow it to the Deerfield storage barn for many years, an act of love and friendship that is deeply appreciated. This boat ‘Lady Elizabeth’ (the name Marilyn affectionately called her mom when she was older) was purchased with a gift from Marilyn’s mom after she passed away. It has been a way to treasure the memories of being on the water together with her from Marilyn’s youth. The lunches together with you sharing family stories and concerns after the work was done always meant so much to us. This boat continues to be special to us because of Marilyn’ s mom, but also because of the friendship we further developed with the two of you.
Over the years we have been biking together, hiking together, boating together, to Moon Beach together, in Movie Group together, in the History Round Table together, Marcia and Marilyn in the ORUCC Women’s Book Group and have shared many other great times that were memorable and fun. Your many acts of kindness, some random, some not (Steve’s fixing up our antiquated bathroom years ago on Barton Road), have not been forgotten. You are some of the “saints” in our lives.
Steve and Marcia, in light of your many kindnesses to us, our family and our church extended family we wish to honor you with
THE WENDY BENTON KNAUPP AWARD for FORGOTTEN KINDNESS
Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to make the world a better place for us and so many others.
Hugs from your friends and admirers,
Jack and Marilyn