For years, if you celebrated a birthday and were a member of Fairlane, you would receive a phone call. Tom McGill would be the caller and he would wish you a “Happy Birthday”. He was persistent in his attempt to reach you. He would call several times during the day. Why? Why was he so persistent? Tom wanted to know that you were loved, you were special and your special day was important.
Tom loved people. He wanted them to know that they were loved. He shared this love with his wife, Katherine, with whom he shared seventy-one years of marriage. (I don’t believe I’ve ever met a couple who enjoyed that many years together.) He shared this love with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a member of the Fairlane family (formerly Main Street) for his entire life. He served as a deacon in our church family for thirty years. He loved his neighbors and the Shelbyville community. He was a blessing to many as he shared his love and kindness to family, friends and neighbors.
I was able to visit with Tom and Katherine and their daughter, Lisa, about a month ago. Tom greeted me with kindness and friendliness. Even though his hearing was failing him, he sat patiently listening to our conversation. He thanked me several times for coming to visit. He had a smile on his face throughout our visit. Even as his body failed him, he continued to be joyful and content in the presence of friends and family.
As he prayed, his prayer always included the following: “Lord help us to know if someone needs us today and help us to know what and how to help them. Please help ALL of us to live for you.” (This was shared in his obituary.) For Tom, this wasn’t just a prayer he prayed. They weren’t just words that he spoke. He lived by these words. He always tried to help others with whatever they needed. And he wanted his friends and family to live for God and to follow His word. The love Tom shared with us was the love he received from the God that he loved.
Tom McGill will be missed. He blessed our church family for decades and brightened our days with his kind spirit, acts of service and his belief that we were all special and needed to be celebrated on our special day.
Tom will be missed but we rest in the assurance that He is with the Father and his love and kindness will continue to be shared throughout eternity.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a
little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” – Matthew 25:23