A Tribute to Mr. CQ & Mrs. Jo

Mr. CQ, Mrs. Jo, and my mom with Princess Buttercup. Easter, a long time ago.


When you go, do you think anyone will remember you?

If so, how do you want to be remembered?

Sometimes, it’s not until someone dies that you think about what a Wonderful Life that person had.

At least, that’s how it seems to me.

Weekend before last, I attended “Mrs. Jo’s” funeral.

I think she’d be embarrassed to know that I’m writing a tribute to her and her husband, Mr. CQ, who preceded her in death by 10 days. Nonetheless, I think people who have lived amazing lives should be honored, don’t you? Especially if they live very humble lives like Mr. CQ and Mrs. Jo. And I also think they would understand that I want my living friends to know that their lives truly do matter.

I met the Smiths when I was about 10 years old, growing up in rural south Alabama. My parents were looking for a new church home that wasn’t so far away to drive to…45 minutes away, and there was a gas shortage going on at the time. We visited the Smiths at their home in Butler. They were so kind, especially when my brother David and I accidentally knocked over one of their lamps. My parents were mortified, but Mrs. Jo told us that they didn’t like that lamp, anyway. Someone had passed it to them, and she was glad it broke. So like her to show the greatest of southern hospitality.

Then there was the Cadbury Easter Eggs. I’m not quite sure, but I think maybe Cadbury introduced the egg, and thereafter, Mrs. Jo, David, and I had this thing about always bringing each other one to church.

Mrs. Jo and Mr. CQ dressed to the nines. Because she was thin, Mrs. Jo would often swap clothes and shoes with her teenage daughter, Lynn, who died during adulthood of some terrible disease. Lynn was so supportive of me when I was enduring high school. She was my senior of about 4 years, very sweet, and popular at our school.

We sat behind Mrs. Jo and Mum (her mother) in church, while either Dad or Mr. CQ would lead singing. She always had a word to say to us kids. She was both funny and likable, and she was a very humble Christian woman. She would take part in our Bible class discussions, always looking to do her best in serving God. She was honest in her frailties, and probably is looking down from Heaven saying, “Oh, honey! I’m just a human just like the rest of us.”

Except she isn’t a human anymore. She is with God. And for that, I will truly miss her until we meet again.

They say that Mr. CQ and Mrs. Jo were married for 61 years. Imagine that!

The Smiths and other members of that tiny congregation in Butler, Alabama drove all the way up to north Alabama to attend Lefty’s and my wedding. I’ll never forget that, either, and I’ve got a photo with Mr. CQ blowing bubbles into the wind, as Lefty and I dash through the well-wishers to leave for our Honeymoon.

“Face to Face” is one of the songs that handsome Mr. CQ would lead often. Afterward, he and Mr. Don would say, “That’s beautiful.”

It makes me happy that Mr. CQ, Mrs. Jo, as well as Lynn, are “Face to Face” with their Lord. But I surely will miss them.

I hope that all of my living friends will understand that this is how I love them, as well. Each is unique in his or her own way, and I may be writing a similar tribute to you one day.

I want you all to know now.

How I love you all.



12 Responses to A Tribute to Mr. CQ & Mrs. Jo

    • Thank you, Barbara! After I posted it on FB, I was like, “Wait…was that arrogant of me to post my own article on the church page?” Hope not. I just wanted to share with others what they usually never hear from those who love them.

  1. I loved it! We all think about many people who have gone and if we were such a good writer we could tell about them. My neighbor across the street in Muscle Shoals was a great woman. She was older than me by 15-20 years but was a dear friend, She knitted all 6 of my grandchildren beautiful Christmas stockings with their names across the top! That was 15 years+ ago and every Christmas we remember her kindness and generosity! Prudy was one in a million. She as always “UP’ even though she came back to the area because her daughter was dying with lung cancer, after her daughter died her husband died, and shortly there after she moved to Naples, FL. We visited her once while there and she was having fun, drove a convertible! Then she died of lung cancer!!

    Bob and I and you all have been truly blessed with many special people in our lives!! I love hearing about each one!

  2. A beautiful tribute. I never thought much about death until my Dad passed and then it took on a whole new meaning. So many wonderful memories.

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