Text: Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Aino Anne (Annie) Kallio, 102, of Raleigh died Sunday at Elmcroft of Northridge, where she was a long time resident. Aino was born in Finland and had lived in the United States most of her life. She was a retired nurse with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. A service will be held in the mausoleum at Montlawn Memorial Park on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake Co.).
This obituary appeared in the News&Observer this past week. I didn’t know Annie Kallio before my phone rang at around 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 30. The caller ID on my phone read Mark Blake from Brown-Wynne Funeral Home. The call came as I was participating in a minister’s conference focused on theology in the public square in Whitakers, NC—a small rural town about an hour and a half from Raleigh. When I saw Mark’s name on my caller ID, I stepped out of my meeting to take the call. For all pastors know that when the undertaker calls, you always answer. Mark was in a tough situation. The minister he had secured to do Annie funeral had been taken suddenly to the hospital that morning, and he needed a minister. As the obituary stated, Annie’s funeral was to be at 3:00 p.m. that very day at Montlawn Memorial Park. Remember, Mark’s call came to me at 11:00 a.m.
At first, I told Mark that I couldn’t help him. My conference was not to end until 4:00 that day, and since I was one of the organizers it didn’t feel appropriate for me to leave early. But as Mark continued to talk, I decided that I was needed more in Raleigh than in Whitakers, so I told him I would head back to Raleigh and meet him at Montlawn a little before 3:00. Before we hung up I said to Mark, “Send me her obituary.” Mark replied, “Okay, but it doesn’t give you very much.” He went on to briefly explain that Annie didn’t have any family in Raleigh. “Actually,” he said, “She doesn’t have any family in the United States.” The one relative that had been located was in Finland. He told me that the only people who would be at the service would likely be himself, along with Annie’s state-appointed guardian and the guardian’s assistant. I told Mark I would meet at him at the mausoleum a little bit before 3:00. I packed my bag and was headed back to Raleigh by 12:30. [Read more…]