Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Scrooge McDuck's Sister

Most folks know who Scrooge McDuck is. He is Donald Duck's rich and sometimes miserly uncle. His creator, Carl Barks, died in 2000 at the age of 99 and many people eulogized him, recalling what a wonderful man and artist he was. His wife of forty years preceded him in death by about seven years. Most of the eulogies do not mention that Carl Barks had been married twice before and that his only surviving child, who happened to be born during his first marriage, is Dorothy Gibson. Barks was called the father of Scrooge McDuck so I guess Dorothy is Scrooge's sister.

Dorothy Gibson is about 86 years old, lives in a modest house in Bremerton, Washington, is an active member of Kitsap Lake Baptist Church, and I am very proud to be her pastor. The pride I have in that fact is not because I am friends with the daughter of the man who changed the image of Donald Duck and created numerous Disney characters. It is because I have the privilege of pastoring a very godly woman who, except when very ill, continues to help clean the church building, particularly the ladies bathroom. She does it because it needs to be done and she can do it.

All that may be changing, however. Recently, Dorothy contracted pneumonia and has not fully recovered. She has even stopped eating, in part because, "nothing appeals to me." Her health is otherwise very good and her mind is as sharp as ever (though she thinks she is becoming a bit forgetful). Her daughter and son-in-law do all they can to help her and encourage her to eat. We hope and pray that Dorothy will soon regain her appetite and energy. Earlier this year, my beloved Aunt Betty went to be with the Lord. The cause of her death was listed as "Failure to thrive." That means her health was good and all her organs were working, but she simply stopped prospering physically and passed away. I hope that is not what is taking place with Dorothy.

Eulogies are traditionally given after a person dies. The word comes from two Greek words that, when put together translated as "good words." It just seems a bit crazy that we wait until after a person has died before we speak a eulogy regarding them. I wanted you to know that whatever Carl Barks was, his daughter, Dorothy Gibson, was much more because she is, as King David was, a person after God's own heart.