Funeral of Marlene Zima
December 3, 2021
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Schuyler, NE
Pastor: Rev. Day Hefner
Musicians: Mitchell Heavican, Virginia Semrad
Lectors: Myla Zima, Jonathon Rinehart
The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.
Welcome in the name of Jesus, the Savior of the world. We are gathered to worship, to proclaim Christ crucified and risen, to remember before God our sister Marlene Zima, to give thanks for her life, to commend her to our merciful redeemer, and to comfort one another in our grief.
THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM
When we were baptized in Christ Jesus, we were baptized into his death. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
Eternal God, maker of heaven and earth, who formed us from the dust of the earth, who by your breath gave us life, we glorify you.
We glorify you.
Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, who suffered death for all humanity, who rose from the grave to open the way to eternal life, we praise you.
We praise you.
Holy Spirit, author and giver of life, the comforter of all who sorrow, our sure confidence and everlasting hope, we worship you.
We worship you.
To you, O blessed Trinity, be glory and honor, forever and ever.
Special Music: On Eagle’s Wings
Soloist: Mitchel Heavican
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray. O God of grace and glory, we remember before you today our sister Marlene. We thank you for giving her to us to know and to love as a companion in our pilgrimage on earth. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to see that death has been swallowed up in the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we may live in confidence and hope until, by your call, we are gathered to our heavenly home in the company of all your saints; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Grandkids and Great-Grandkids Share Memories of “Grandma Zima”
God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.
READING: Proverbs 31:25-31
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.
PSALM: Psalm 23 (please read responsively the boldface type)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.
You restore my soul, O Lord, and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil, and my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
READING: Romans 6:3-9
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.
READING: John 14:1-6
[Jesus said] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.
HYMN OF THE DAY (856): How Great Thou Art
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the works thy hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, thy pow'r throughout the universe displayed; Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art! How great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art! How great thou art! When through the woods and forest glades I wander, I hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze; Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art! How great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art! How great thou art! But when I think that God, his Son not sparing, sent him to die, I scarce can take it in, that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing he bled and died to take away my sin; Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art! How great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art! How great thou art! When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim, "My God, how great thou art!" Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art! How great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art! How great thou art!
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day, he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Let us pray.Almighty God, in holy baptism you have knit your chosen people together into one communion of saints in the body of Christ. Give to your whole church in heaven and on earth your light and your peace. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.
Grant that all who have been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection may die to sin and rise to share the new life in Christ. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.
Give courage and faith to all who mourn, and a sure and certain hope in your loving care, that, casting all their sorrow on you, they may have strength for the days ahead. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.
Grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and who walk as yet by faith, that, where this world groans in grief and pain, your Holy Spirit may lead us to bear witness to your light and life. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.
Help us, in the midst of things we cannot understand, to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.
God of all grace, we give you thanks because by his death our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed the power of death and by his resurrection he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Make us certain that because he lives we shall live also, and that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come, will be able to separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Let us commend our sister, Marlene Zima, to the mercy of God, our maker and redeemer.
Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Marlene. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light.
Let us go forth in peace,
in the name of Christ. Amen.
Special music: The Green, Green Grass of Home
Interment will be at Schuyler Cemetery.
A luncheon will follow in the fellowship hall.
Family Memories of Marlene
When you are born and raised in a community and live to be 84+, you get to know a lot of people! Mom & Dad liked sports – we went to the Schuyler Warriors basketball games and followed them to districts while I was still in grade school and then they started going to the NE Cornhusker football games. That was an all day affair for them and the fever continued as they made it to a few bowl games. When they couldn’t make it to the games you could find them watching it on TV. Then on one day the score was really close and NE needed to make an important play and it was just too much for mom to watch, so she got up and ran to the bathroom and lo and behold the team did what needed to be done. Up to her going into the hospital she has kept up that practice and had to admit there were games where she felt she spent the entire game in the bathroom! She wasn’t able to do this little ritual of hers for the last two games as she was in the hospital – so maybe that’s why they lost?
Mom LOVED to dance and she married a dancer (which I secretly think was one of the major prerequisites to finding the right man!) Watching her and dad do the jitterbug to Glen Miller’s “In the Mood” was one of the best things ever for us 3 kids to watch.
In the 80’s when things were rough for the farmers, mom needed to go to work to help make ends meet and she got a job as a checker at Didier’s and then Jack & Jill’s. She called me and said she didn’t think she could learn the cash register. I told her, “if you could figure out how to be a telephone operator during your high school years in Schuyler, you won’t have any problems” and she didn’t. She loved her customers and her high school carry outs. She was their mentor and she told me a few years ago if she had a do-over she would have liked to work with high school youth. She got her wish – just not in the form she was thinking of. So many times when we are out and about someone would tell her hi and she would ask about them what they were up to and then when they’d leave I’d ask her who that was and she would say “Oh that was one of my carryouts.”
Mom and Dad finally got to take some time off in Jan. and Feb. and drive down to Arizona; that started around 30 years ago. Mom’s childhood friend moved to Congress and they went to visit her and then they went on to Yuma and all of a sudden people from OR, WI, KS and Canada came into our lives. Sue and Deb got to fly down and stay with them for a few days which turned into a whirlwind of everything they wanted to show and share with us. We saw orange, lemon, and grapefruit groves, vegetable farming, desert, got to experience mom barter in Mexico and of course ended our days with date shakes made with (you guessed it) ICE CREAM!
Deb’s two daughters were able to go and stay with them and experience vacationing with Grandma and Grandpa. They have some funny stories to share if you are interested. Mom’s travel adventures continued after Dad passed – she discovered Moostash Tours and got to see New England, the Smokey Mountains, and Branson to hear her favorite singer, Danny O’Donnell. She wasn’t afraid to drive to Kearney, MO, and Junction City, KS, to visit Judi and Scott’s family either. She got to watch the great grandkids play soccer, watch football games with her great grandson, and do other activities with the great granddaughters. She got to participate in Myla and Jaydon’s 4-H activities and bundled up til she could hardly walk and looked like a mummy to watch one of Jaydon’s soccer games.
Mom loved to shop – she would have a great way of asking Scott or I, do you think maybe, but only if you have time, we could go to Macy’s and IKEA. For me that was a 40 minute drive, for Scott 2 hours. And of course we always found time! Then Black Friday Sshopping entered her life with her daughter-in-law and her family. So after Thanksgiving for the last 7 years or so, Sue and Deb go shopping (Mom came with us once) and Jodi and her family go shopping (Mom always goes with them). Sue and Deb are home by 2 or 3 in the morning, Mom rolls in around 7 am – is it because she wants to see the sunrise, or eat before they come home or are they just more fun to be around??? I think it’s all 3.
Mom loved Jodi’s sugar cookies. So Jodi makes a platter of cookies for the family and a special plate for Mom of just sugar cookies that she doesn’t share with anyone and always responds, “oh for me, oh you didn’t need to go to all that work” and then hides the plate from everyone else, plus sneaks the sugar cookies off the platter Jodi brings home to share!!! Makes us laugh every year.
We aren’t sure which Mom loved more: Husker football, Husker women’s volleyball, shopping at Macy’s and IKEA, or shoes. She did wake up from a deep sleep and looked at me and said she ordered 20,000 pairs of shoes (I repeated the number to make sure I heard correct and she nodded her head yes) then she said I might have to return a few pairs, but maybe not, Katie might want them. Only Katie and Mom share the same shoe size – Ryan you might want to start building a storage shed.
Mom had inherited nerve issues, migraines and leg issues; she fell and broke her elbow at the NE collisum while attending Larry the Cable Guy show and had to do 6 months of painful physical therapy to get her elbow back to normal and she did it and was so proud of herself. When someone would ask her what happened she said she “fell for Larry the Cable Guy.” She also fought lymphoma and won! But then she got COVID and she apologized to us and told us she didn’t have any more strength to fight this. First time I heard her say 84 was old.
Mom never sat still – she was the energizer bunny whose battery got recharged by being around other people and doing for her family, church, friends and others. What we call adversities sometimes turns out to be God’s gift to us. God’s gifts come in all different sizes and shapes. God used each gift to stretch Mom, to make her reach out and motivate others, not to waste a single moment.
Yes we are going to miss Mom, but she has touched every one of you here. You are here because in some way she has touched your life. So although this is goodbye for now, there are still new gifts that God is giving us and it’s up to us to find a new way to use them – just like Mom did.