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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tommy Eden's Funeral Talk for his father on 5.24.2017



An old Irish Headstone reads “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leave a memory no one can steal.” 

Tom Eden Jr Five Rules for Life -  in your program you will see a space. 

1) Rule 1 - Don't Live a Limited Life.
dad was intent on poking his finger into the stomach of life and seeing what popped out.
first male twirler for auburn university cheerleaders leading the AU band in the Truman Inaugural parade on Jan 29, 1949 in Washington DC and by the end of that year women played in the AU band for the first time in history – and I am sure Dad played a hand in that as he truly loved women. 
who but Lt Tom Eden would dare to convince a tugboat captain to pull alongside a United States Navy transport and climb up a cargo net as 800 Marines glared down at him because he missed his ship the Bohaire headed for Korea, all to give his new bride a kiss goodbye on the dock in Norfolk, VA.
30 years ago, Dad called my cousin Roger Reardon in Virginia as he and mom were going to visit my uncle and aunt Bill and Shirley Pleasants in Salem, VA to watch the NCAA finals. He asked Roger what beer he liked; Roger said PBR, Dad shows up at the house with a six-pack and he and Roger drank it during the game. Roger told me later that was probably the only beer ever drunk in Aunt Shirley’s house. 
2) Rule 2- have passion believing you can make the world a better place.
23 scouts made eagle in five short years while dad was scoutmaster of Troop 30 because he passionately believed they could and had this magical power of persuasion that caused them to believe as well. 
and as Murphy Murphy will tell you he pushed that passion into the boys he believed in - and 100s of other people sitting here today can tell you the same story. Each of you achieved the un-achievable because of dad's passionate belief in you.  And next, he was hands on as Trey Johnston framed it, coaching them to achieve their dream.
Forestdale Nativity - is still going strong after 50 years of telling the story of the birth of Christ Jesus on 4X8 sheets from the perspective of the shepherds and wise men, along with building a full nativity at the top of the neighborhood, because Tom Eden and Lee Cannon passionately believed that their Christian faith should be shared and not hidden.
3) Rule 3 - build a great team.
before Steve Jobs of Apple and Eric Schmitt at Google, Dad figured out the mystery of building great winning teams and scout troops and it was around the "mystery of the campfire"
around the campfire every boy had an equal voice from cry-baby Dr. Woodley Jones to Super Scout Sherman Phillips who leap tall buildings in our eyes.
the campfire was not over until every boy had a chance to speak.
around the campfire each boy was encouraged to go after their dreams.
around the campfire, there was an emotional support system that lifted all up towards the goal of Eagle Scout and beyond; and 
dad was a great active listener who coached everyone individually after he understood the dream that God had placed in their heart.
4) Rule 4 - don't do it for the money.
Tom Trotter told me the story of how he needed 2 dollars more to get back to Columbus after going on a Troop 30 outing – Dad reached in his pocket and gave Tom his most special 2-dollar silver certificate bill so Tom could get on the bus that night. 
I can't tell you the number of people that dad has helped during their hard times, or merely saw an opportunity that he wanted to encourage someone to venture into and gave freely to them. 
no telling how many Scout uniforms, sleeping bags, backpacking trips, groceries he paid for out of his own pocket just to make sure everyone had an opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential and dream.
Building them up to discover the calling that God had placed in their hearts was the treasure he stored up for himself in heaven.
5) Rule 5 - be an encourager of others.
raise your hand if Dad Encouraged you?
around the campfire 2000 years ago was an act of encouragement. 
the most discouraged man in history had days earlier denied Christ three times before the cock crowed. That man now sat at dawn face-to-face on a pebbled shore on the Sea of Galilee, with smoke curling from a campfire, eating a fish sandwich, waves lapping on the shore, and looking into the same eyes he had stared into across the courtyard of the high priest.
with 7 simple words, and a divine fish sandwich, Christ encouraged Peter. 
Peter - do you love me?  Peter answered - Lord you know I'm fond of you – Jesus said - feed my sheep.
Christ then asked Peter the same question and two more times Peter gives his same non-committal answer. Christ said - feed my sheep.
Peter “come to terms with your calling in me” was Christ’s encouragement across the flames of that campfire as he breathed his faith into Peter’s spirit. It was the “mystery of the campfire” that set the scene for Christ’s great miracle since his resurrection. 
days later Peter preached to 3000 in Jerusalem who were saved in the name of Christ Jesus because Peter accepted Christ’s vision for himself when he had no vision of his own – but only back to fishing. 
and the world has never been the same; 
and the ripple in the lake of Dad’ encouragement in love can still be seen in you here today and death cannot steal that.

One of the troop 30 scouts Dad greatly encouraged was my friend and classmate Bill Goodwin. I am going to ask Bill to come up and speak on behalf of all scouts that Dad encouraged to give you the rest of the story.  May God bless you all and may God grant to each of you His divine favor for being Dad’s friend and the friend of our family.