Susan Hope was born January 24, 1912, to Solon R. Boynton and Susan Nye Crocker Boynton, in Bellingham, Washington. Nobody called her Susan. She was always Hope. This gracious young woman—with the most beautiful brown eyes—grew up in Bellingham. After high school graduation she traveled to Aurora, Illinois to enroll at Aurora College. In the years to come, she married Paul E. Friedmann and graduated from college. The Friedmanns were the parents of four: Paul Kent, Evan, Susan, and John Mark.
My beloved Uncle Paul died in 1999. He was a minister for the Advent Christian denomination. Hope and Paul always had room for one more at their table, in their home, and in their hearts. (Incidentally, he used to cook the greatest pancakes!) They pastored in New London, CT; Minneapolis, MN; Pasadena, CA; and Nooksack, WA; over a 23-year period. After Hope's death, Uncle Paul lived quietly in the Los Angeles area close to Evan & Kate Friedmann.
Aunt Hope enjoyed writing devotional, inspirational, and other non-fiction works, and was privileged to study with people such as Catherine Marshall, Norman Vincent Peale, and Arthur Gordon. Her work was widely published in Christian books and magazines. Always an encourager, she saw into the hearts of people, and loved writing of their faith and courage. A gifted musician, Hope also had a wonderful sense of humor, and was especially gifted at making funny faces. At those times, it seemed her face was made of rubber. One time when the five Boynton children were sitting for some family portraits, the prim and proper photographer promised the children that if they'd sit quietly for a few group shots, he would photograph each of them making the funniest face possible. Guess whose was the most hilarious!
The picture on the left was taken in Arizona about 1980. Lois Boynton Cruea Stevenson is on the left, then Betty Boynton Nielsen, Judy Hope Crook Vorfeld, and Aunt Hopeless. We met at Betty & Lou Nielsens for celebration and sharing of memories. This was the last time we got together. It wasn't long until Alzheimer's intervened.
I often called her "Aunt Hopeless." Surely I wasn't the only one to give her that name!
I could go on and on, but my knowledge of Hope can't come close to that of other family members: her sisters, husband, children, and very precious grandchildren. Still, I want them to know how special she was to me, her namesake. God alone knows how many other lives she touched without any fanfare. While it is sad that she is gone, I rejoice in all that she was, and in the fact that she is finally with her beloved Lord Jesus Christ. I also celebrate the life of Uncle Paul, who patiently and quietly walked through life spreading warmth, kindness, and love. What a man.
Copyright Judy Vorfeld.
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