Treasured Memories

Guest Blog Post: pARTner Kristi Burgus Webster shares the experience she had helping one family capture their memories in a very special TYPOGRFX design.

 

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~ Author Unknown

Aamodt Family TYPOGRFX

Creating a TYPOGRFX Custom Word Art sign is a beautiful and lasting tribute to those we love and miss. It’s a great way to be reminded of them every day. “It can be healing, comforting, memorable, and oh so very special,” said Peggy Aamodt after creating her 20×30 metal print in honor of her husband, Dave. He was taken from this life way too soon, but had a huge impact on so many lives. He was a son, a husband, a FATHER, a brother, a teacher, a coach, a singer, a leader of faith and a friend to many. He was much more than that to those who knew him. His life was lived for God. He had an ENCOURAGING presence about him that made those around him want to do more than they ever thought they could. He inspired them. He believed in others’ abilities and they could feel that. He was a man of peace and guidance, and he was known for his BOLD FAITH, contentment with life and supportiveness. When someone was in need, he was always there. Family and friends say he is IRREPLACEABLE, but his memory and legacy will last a lifetime.

Dave and Peggy were BLESSED with three sons and a bit of their dad shines through in each of them. Ryan is outgoing, but cherishes time with family. Nate is full of life and loves music. And Tyler has the ability to talk to anyone, especially about his faith. These three young men are Dave’s legacy.

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Dave worked as a 4th, 5th and 6th grade TEACHER for the Mediapolis Community School District for many years. He was known for helping his students discover their unhidden talents. He was an outstanding role model, and he INSPIRED his many students by making learning fun and by providing lots praise for a job well done. M&M’s were a staple in his classroom. They were handed out abundantly as rewards, and over the years he had collected many, many M&M gifts from his students. Peggy said that a wooden shelf still sits in their home that holds his collection.

As a track coach he helped kids have faith in themselves. No one was ever left out. Everyone participated and he brought out the best in each person. He BELIEVED in them and they knew it! As a memorial, the Mediapolis School District named the home track meet after him, calling it, The Dave Aamodt Relays. A bench was purchased with his name on it that now sits in a beautiful garden area at the school. In addition to their children, Peggy believes that his students should be considered part of his legacy, as he had such a passion for teaching. Over the years many people thought that Dave should be a minister, but teaching actually was his ministry. He was loved and RESPECTED by his students, peers and by people in his church and community. Many people came to him for mentoring and advice because he was a GOOD LISTENER and was held with high respect.

Dave was an avid RUNNER. He ran in many races and he was known for his quiet jogs throughout the town of Mediapolis. It was during these jogs where he would spend time in quiet reflection and pray for his family, the community, and his kids at school. He never listened to music. It was his quiet time with the Lord. People came to learn that when they saw him jogging down the street that prayers were being sent upwards, and sometimes maybe even for them.

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But, in the middle of May, 2013, Dave began having stomach pain at night and after he ate. He and Peggy thought it was his gall bladder. He participated in a 5K run towards the end of May called The Bridge Run, which gives money to the local hospice. But, on the last Sunday in May he finally went to the emergency room due to pain and was told there were spots seen on his liver. He had his gall bladder removed in early June. It was then that they learned that his condition was much more extensive. He was transferred to The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics where he was put in the ICU. He came home 5 days later and passed away 3 days after he got home, on June 29th. Throughout his final days, Peggy said that Dave had PEACE and contentment, which gave her and their boys the STRENGTH that they needed to get through what was happening.

As imagined, Dave’s visitation and funeral were very well attended. An outpouring of over 900 people came to pay their last respects to this beloved man. The community had come together before he had passed to help pay for some of the medical expenses through creating a run/walk in his honor. Dave chose the saying “Run Your Race…Well” for the t-shirts, but unfortunately was not able to be there for the race in person. There’s no doubt that he was there in spirit, though, as the streets of Mediapolis were filled with blue t-shirts and over 200 people in attendance to support the family. The following year a second run/walk was held to form a scholarship fund for the high school, with green t-shirts saying, Mr. “A” Scholarship 5K/10K Run/Walk. The family was touched to see so many people show support and they hope to continue the run/walk for years to come.

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Dave and Peggy shared a love for singing and PRAYER and journal writing. They sang at church and in weddings and they both loved the song, “Shout to the Lord”, which was sung at his funeral. Another song that is meaningful to Peggy is “I Can Only Imagine”. She shared that whenever she hears it, she thinks of Dave in heaven and remembers that some day they will be reunited. As the song says, “I Can Only Imagine” what it will be like when I walk by your side, what my eyes will see when your face is before me. Some day we all will be reunited and see the beautiful faces of those that have gone before us. She said, “Whenever I think of Dave I think of a hearty laugh, SMILES, singing, and special cards.” “Whenever I smell FLOWERS, I think of Dave.” “Whenever I see the boys having fun together, I think of Dave.” Dave will always hold a SPECIAL place in the hearts of those who knew him. He was loved and he ran his race well!