When I heard the news that my grandfather had died, my living room was full of youth studying the scriptures. I was in the kitchen making a snack big enough to fill seven hungry boys. I was tempted to ask the boys to go home and have a good cry. But what would my grandfather want? His house was always filled with people studying the Word and eating good food. So I kept on.

As the oldest grandchild, I am privileged to have many wonderful memories of Poppop before old age took his vigor. I remember him coming back from work, sitting down in his arm chair with a glass of wine and a handful of pistachios to watch basketball. We would inch nearer and nearer, giggling, and he would trap us with his legs, like a crocodile. Sometimes we would play dragon – we kids would tiptoe down the dark stairs and peep around the corner, and then Poppop would growl and chase us back up the carpeted stairs. He loved his grandkids.

I remember him kneeling in the crocuses in the front of the yard. My poppop’s pant knees were perpetually black, and the garden was spectacular.

I remember Poppop listening to good music, crying as music brought to mind different memories. I remember him and Nony taking me to the Philadelphia orchestra, and introducing us all to opera.

I remember his beautiful voice reciting the poem Hiawatha’s Childhood.

I remember his booming voice as he laughed and talked with friends. Poppop loved a good debate, and my father Skip Tobin had many with him! I particularly remember hearing him talk about abortion and the conquest of Jericho – one of the first complicated discussions on biblical ethics that I understood as a child.

We all were blessed by his circle of friends –Ernie Wilson, Rich and Rene Erickson and the many others.

Poppop Rocap’s extensive library introduced me to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings and Norman Grubb’s book on Reese Howells. My life has been shaped by those books.

Poppop came and visited us many times while we lived in Asia. People’s character really shines through when they are put in a new place, and Poppop became even more cheerful, enthusiastic, and fearless. He handled full bowlfuls of sour, potent spicy fish soup without a flinch or a complaint. Once their jeep flipped half way off the road on the cliff side and even that was just a minor detail to Poppop! I remember him coming back from a trip to Mizoram. Full of zeal and joy at the opportunity to preach from the scriptures, Poppop stayed in makeshift buildings in northern India during the intense winter cold without getting sick. His sermons were easy to translate as they were just straight on Bible without any waffling.

The time I felt the most loved by Poppop was when Poppop and Nony came to visit me during my first two weeks of boarding school in south India. I was thirteen, scared, shy, and lonely. I missed the first few days of school due to the flu, and then I came down with a cold. So after two weeks of school, I was still trying to catch up on all the how, when, where, who, and what of the new school. I had somehow forgotten that my grandparents were planning to visit. All of us 100 girls were in mandatory silent study in the dining room on that cold evening when the doorbell rang. No one ever rings the doorbell! We all listened to the big door open, someone coming down the dark hall. . and I was called out with a loud announcement in front of all my jealous classmates. I found my grandparents bundled up in coats, in the common room, ready to give me all the hugs I needed. The next day they bought me much needed shampoo, postage for letters home, and cold medicine. I showed them all around my boarding school, the trees I had climbed, the large library and the trampoline. It was their encouragement that helped me begin to enjoy my new home.

Poppop leaves with us the legacy of a long, happy marriage. With lots of marriages and relationships failing from the start all around us, we are blessed with an example of passion and faithfulness for a lifetime. We are all watching, Poppop and Nony! You have taught us with your example.

Poppop has passed so many wonderful blessings onto the next generation. Poppop’s generosity is echoed in the lives of his children. His love of music is multiplied. His zeal and love for work well done is seen in the life of his children. His passion for bringing out the giftings and strengths of others in seen. He has given freedom to his children and wife to explore their own callings. But what Poppop probably wants to pass on is something that stayed even when his other loves and strengths became impossible due to dementia. Some of his last labored words to us were, “I don’t know . . I don’t know . .. But, Know! God! Loves!”

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