My name is Christie Stalcup. I'm Bruce and Laurie Swanson's daughter. I have the privilege of sharing this afternoon a few memories of Arno Enns from the perspective of a granddaughter.
I've noticed that in families, there is the standard, socially acceptable hug that you give each other. My grandpa's hugs were about three times that long and three times that tight and they were filled with words of love and affection. As a child, when I received these hugs, I felt like I was the most special person in his world.
As I grew older, I noticed that he gave that exact same tight squeeze along with affectionate words to each of my cousins. As grandsons and granddaughters in law were added to the family, he embraced them and welcomed them with the same affection and care.
In 2014, my husband and I were appointed as missionaries with WorldVenture in Bangkok, Thailand. With my grandparents having served in Argentina, my parents in Portugal, and now us in Thailand, that makes me a third generation WorldVenture missionary. It's been such a privilege the last few years to be around various WorldVenture folks because I've gotten to hear story after story about my grandpa and the theme is always the same -- he warmly embraced people even remembering specific details of their lives from years ago.
My grandpa was also goofy and he loved to make us grandkids laugh. We all happily filled the role of adoring grandkids and we loved to draw out his fun personality.
I remember sitting around the dinner table with my cousins and grandparents and we would ask grandpa to tell us one of his jokes. They say a good joke is all about timing and my grandpa's jokes had terrible timing. They were long, and drawn out and us grandkids would laugh until our sides ached at our grandpa's theatrics as he told his long-winded jokes.
I remember at my wedding rehearsal, my grandpa sat in a pew next to the aisle and as each of my bridesmaids practiced walking down the aisle, he playfully stuck out his cane and tried to trip them!
Grandpa was also so faithful. Faithful to my grandma, to his family, and to the Lord.
My grandpa absolutely delighted in my grandma, Cora Lee. Sometimes, he would be sitting in his armchair in the family room reading a newspaper. She would walk in the room and he'd exclaim, "Cora Lee, you're still here?! After all these years!"
My husband's favorite memory of my grandpa comes from six years ago, when the entire family, all four daughters, sons-in-law, and all the grandchildren were gathered in my aunt's family room on Christmas Day listening to my Grandpa share a few words, well a lot of words, on the incarnation, the word made flesh. As my husband looked around the room, he was stunned at the depth and breadth of the Kingdom impact of Arno and Cora Lee Enns' lives just in that family room. They truly embodied Psalm 145 which says that "One generation will commend your works to another and declare your mighty acts."
I remember before meals, my grandpa would often start his prayers the same way. 'Gracious, heavenly Father, we thank you for…' So I would like to close my words here in the same way my grandpa started all his prayers, 'Our gracious, heavenly Father, we thank you for the life of my grandpa, Arno Enns.'
Here is a biography of his amazing life as well.