Sunrises and sunsets.

Present in everyday living, the last two weeks have been filled with what seems to be a lot of sunsets.

We've said goodbye to four people who impacted the world in different, yet creative ways.

We lost a champion for women - of all ages - and children, a promoter of downtown, a long-standing businessman and a WWII vet who gave all for his country. 

Sunsets and sadness. Darkness has closed in on us. 

Linda Smith was passionate about "her girls." She would go the extra mile - and then some - to make sure her girls received the help they needed.

Without question, if Linda saw a need, she found a way to fill it - even if it meant making numerous phone calls or finding a way to conquer an unmovable obstacle. 

Even on her deathbed, Linda forgo talking about herself. Instead she wanted to ensure her legacy - the Abundant Blessing Center - would continue without her presence.

Her dream will become a reality, as a group of pastors and other interested people meet on Friday to begin the "what's next" conversation. 

We said goodbye to Bob Henkle, a man who moved to Grove because he wanted to open a lumber yard/hardware store "in the Ozarks."

Bob fell in love with Grove. He was a champion for downtown revitalization. He was passionate about bringing businesses to our community.

Even on his deathbed, Bob continued to care. His mind continued to whirl with ideas and thoughts on what it would take to make Grove great.

"It's all about downtown" was Bob's motto. Something tells me Bob would be so pleased to see 1909 and the Rusty Willow occupying the former Graham's IGA buildings.

The vibrancy and excitement that is building as downtown continues to grow and change can be credited, in part, to seeds Bob planted while serving on the Grove Economic Development Authority.  

We said goodbye to a long-time resident, businessman and family man, too soon, as Richard "Dickie" Mount was killed - on his 78th birthday - in a tragic accident.

Mount leaves behind an extended family and an even larger friend group, to carry on.

Mount lived life passionately. He cared about his family, church and community.

A bit rough around the edges, he knew what was important - and made sure people he cared about knew where they stood with him on a daily basis.

His late-in-life faith conversion reminded those around him that it was never too late to embrace Jesus' love - to change - and become an even better friend and family member.

On Wednesday, just a day after he was featured on the front page, World War II veteran John Fatherree has ended his battle with lymphoma. 

Fatherree was one of the men who joined the service after Pearl Harbor. He answered the call and served his country in its time of need.

His death, and the deaths each day of his fellow veterans, leaves us with a hole that is hard to fill. He was truly part of the greatest generation, and our country is greater because of his service and sacrifice.

Sunsets. It's hard to see lives reach the sunset. It's hard to say goodbye. It's hard to face the loss.

We have hope, even when the darkness seems to overtake us, that the sunrise will return. 

Songwriter Jason Crabb reminds us in "Let Mercy Hold You", that even when the doubts are heavy, and it seems as if our prayers are only met with silence, that every night holds back a sunrise, and that joy will return.

It may seem hopeless. The sunset may seem to be terminally here. But through God's mercy, we find hope. We find joy. We remember the lessons taught us by people like Linda, Bob, Dick and John.

We survive. The sunrise will return. 

As it returns, seeds planted by these four, will continue to grow in each of our lives. Joy will flourish once again.

Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. Have an idea for a column or story? She can be reached at or 918-786-2228.