In Memory Of Loraine Burke Cogdill
Loraine Burke Cogdill, beloved wife of Roy E. Cogdill, ended her earthly journey at a few minutes past six o'clock in the morning of Thursday, June 23rd. Death must have come to her as sweet relief from the terrible and excruciating suffering she endured through almost four months of critical illness.
She contracted "staph" pneumonia in January, 1968, in Canada and spent four months in bed when she was able to return home recuperating from that illness. These "staph" germs injured the Mitral valve of the heart, building up scar tissue around it until the valve would not allow the blood to pass on through the heart and circulate properly. This damage was discovered about the first of January, 1959. During that year she spent four months in bed resting her heart and trying to regain her strength but was able to make but little progress.
In September, 1959, heart specialists in Houston Medical Center catheterized her heart to determine the exact damage done. They did not recommend heart surgery at that time but advised her to limit her activities and try to live within the limitations such a condition placed upon her. She became seriously ill on March 3, 1960, and after a week at home was taken to Medical Center Hospital in Tyler. After two weeks there she went to Houston Medical Center, Methodist Hospital, under a diagnosis of lung cancer. It developed, however that blood clots were forming, filling the lungs with fluid and also lodging in other vital organs of the body.
In a greatly weakened condition surgery became necessary and was performed under emergency circumstances at midnight, Wednesday, April 20. Both abdominal and heart surgery was done. The surgeon said that the opening in the Mitral valve in the heart was the smallest he had seen in hundreds of such operations and that he could not understand how she had been able to live in such a condition.
She was given a good chance to live following such radical surgery and in such a weakened condition until the "staph" germs that had ruined her heart moved out into the blood stream and poisoned the blood. With her blood chemistry out of balance, a very weak heart muscle to work with, the struggle for life that had gone on for so many weary weeks seemed destined to end in defeat in spite of her own will and all the finest of doctors could do. The end of struggle came for her at home where she had been taken in answer to her earnest plea to be allowed to go for many days. The battle for life which had been so valiantly fought by those skilled in their profession as doctors, by her own indomitable will to live, by her family and friends who remained at her side day and night end prayed constantly for her to live. if it could be the Lord's will, was lost but the defeat suffered in the struggle for physical life meant glorious victory for her soul for it was released from a pain ridden and broken body and from the cares and distresses of this world to "depart and be with Christ" as a faithful saint of Cod.
She endured her suffering patiently and with the courage that had characterized her life she fought to live. Yet, she was fully reconciled to dying and in the prospect of death was confident and unafraid for she fully believed that death would mean to "be with the Lord". The following obituary facts appeared in the "Daily Sentinel" of Nacogdoches, Texas:
"Born Nov. 17, 1905, in Lufkin, Mrs. Cogdill was the daughter of John A. and Ora Womack Burke. She was the former Loraine Burke and married July 21, 1925, to Roy E. Cogdill who survives her. She met her husband while both were students at Abilene Christian College.
"Mrs. Cogdill travelled with her husband in his evangelistic work to all parts of the nation and on numerous extended trips into Canada. They lived in several cities for varying lengths of time while Mr. Cogdill served as local preacher for the Church of Christ in those cities. They have made their home in Nacogdoches for nearly two years."
If she had lived until July 21, she would have celebrated with her husband their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. During many of those years she had kept the home and borne its responsibilities, rearing their daughter, and attending very largely to the family business affairs, while her husband carried on the work of preaching in gospel meetings from one section of the country to another. This sacrifice was cheerfully and willingly made upon her part for the sake of her husband's work in the service of the Lord. The companionship, security, and happiness she sacrificed for the sake of his work and the loneliness endured in the separation from him was accepted and borne without a murmur. In all of her life as a preacher's wife she uttered no complaint at any of the burdens to be borne. Not one time did she ever hold back discourage, or hinder in any way any move that needed to be made, stand to be taken, or hardship to be endured, if it meant the accomplishment of more good for the cause of the Lord. While she did not set herself forward and seek prominence in connection with his work in any way, she quietly carried more than her part of the load, in her loyalty and devotion to the truth and right, her willingness to sacrifice anything needed for the sake of the work to be done, and the constant help, complete understanding, and unfailing encouragement given to her companion in the work he has tried to do.
While she was not perfect, if she had any weakness of character or lack of courage, it was never detected by the one who shared her life for nearly thirty-five years. She was devoted to her family and has cared faithfully and unstintingly for her aged parents through the years, seeing that their needs were supplied and their interests safeguarded. She reared one daughter and no mother ever gave more unselfishly of her time, strength and effort for the good of a child. She loved the two grandsons that survive her with a dear devotion and determination to contribute in every possible way to their Christian character as well as their happiness.
I suppose it is but natural for me to feel as I do but whether it is or not this much is sure, whatever strength there is about me and whatever good I may be able to accomplish or may have done, the great bulk of it has come from the two strongest characters and most courageous persons that I have ever known — my beloved and lamented mother and my devoted and faithful companion. Without their understanding and encouragement as well as the help of the Lord I would be nothing and could do nothing. The greatest blessings the Lord has ever bestowed on me aside from permitting me to share in the wonderful provisions of his shed blood has been the love and help and influence of these two grand saintly women. I thank God for them. The greatest challenge of my life from a human point of view has been to be worthy of their love and devotion.
The grief we feel when our loved ones depart to be with the Lord is but selfish. We shrink back from the loneliness and void their going leaves in our lives and know our tremendous loss in the lack of their presence to strengthen and encourage and help as they have through all of these years of the past. But we strengthen our hearts and mend our spirits, even dry away our tears, in the knowledge that they are as much alive as they have ever been and in the transition are infinitely better for they are free from suffering and the heartaches of this life and know only the happiness and bliss of those who have "died in the Lord". May God help us to walk in their righteous examples and be faithful and constant in His service until we too can lay our burdens down and be with Christ and all of the redeemed without any more separations and sorrows.