I wanted to write about Baron's Papaw Joe who passed away at the age of 95 yesterday morning. I hope that I have all my facts correct but if I don't Mom Howie you can correct me. Papaw Joe was Baron's great-great uncle on his dad's side. Dad H's parents were separated when he was born and his mom went to look for work so he and his older sister went to live with his grandparents. When Dad H was 3 and his sister 4 their grandma died and their grandpa's brother, Papaw Joe, who was much younger told his brother to let him take care of the kids. Papaw Joe was not saved at the time and his brother said he just couldn't in good conscious let him have the kids because he wasn't living for the Lord. As the story goes, Papaw Joe went to church and accepted Christ and this new love for Christ deepend his desire to help the hurting kids around him. He and his girlfriend, Granny Bill, got married and they gained custody of Ken and his sister Carolyn. He had compassion on those who were down and out and always was willing to give people a chance. Most people would have shut the door in the face of people that he ministered too. He was always more then willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt and give them a job and try to help them out.
They went on to take in two sisters from a local orphanage. Their father had passed away and their mother was unable to care for them. They raised them and actually raised 3 children of one of those girls. He also temporarily housed many people who needed a place to stay.
Papaw Joe was more like Baron's grandpa then great great uncle. He raised his father and because of this Baron's dad, Dad H. had a heart for orphans. He always had a desire in his heart to work with orphans and needy kids in some way but it just never happened. His heart was passed on to his son though. When we moved to Romania we received an opportunity that Dad H. never had, we were surrounded by abandoned kids. God gave us the desire to adopt and when we finally met our kids, we knew we wanted them to feel part of the family and have family names. So, we kept the first name just making it American...George Joseph will be on his birth certificate when the adoption is final and we call him Joey for Papaw Joe. The transition to calling him Joey came quickly and was not difficult although I know people at Casa Alba will always consider him Gheorghe, he is Joey Howerton to us and the name fits him so well. He is full of spunk and joy and we hope and pray he lives up to his name and grows to be a kind and compassionate man who loves the Lord with all his heart.
In loving memory of Joe Riddle 1914-2009.