This month, my Sunday school teacher, Bert Russ, passed away. Due to health issues, Mr. Russ taught on and off for two years at First United Methodist in Hamlet.
My brother and I only went to Sunday school for Bert and, for a time, he sat upstairs early every Sunday waiting for children to show up who never did. At that time, we were too young to be in the teens class, and we thought ourselves to be too old for the younger class. Regardless, everyday Bert sat upstairs in hopes that someone would come in order for him to spread the word of God.
For these reasons, and many others, I loved Mr. Russ and thought of him almost as a fatherly figure. He had very traditional views on life which made him both inaccurate at the worse cases, and classically refreshing at best. All the same, Bert taught me things regardless of how often he repeated himself and of how different his views were.
I would gladly listen to any of his lessons again out of respect and out of true understanding. I hope and wish — though I feel like it is impossible — that one day I will be as good of a person as Mr. Russ. He always offered me kindness and treated me almost as his own family, out of that same kindheartedness.
Annie Blakeley is a sophomore at Richmond Senior High School, is a band and chorus student and a member of First United Methodist Church in Hamlet.