In Memory

Robert Walter Harvey

Robert Walter Harvey

65, retired Friends University professor, passed away Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Visitation, 5-7 p.m., Saturday, January 27, Downing & Lahey Mortuary West. Funeral Service, 10 a.m., Monday, January 29, West Evangelical Free Church. Preceded in death by father, William E. Harvey. Survivors: wife, Joyce; sons, Brandon (Brandi) Harvey, Bret (Rachael) Harvey, Drew (Amber) Droegemeier and Chad Droegemeier all of Wichita; daughter, Briana (Tom) Butts of Oak Park, IL; grandchildren, Braedon Harvey, Brady and Brooke Kuermaier, Johnny, Autumn and Samantha Harvey, Grant, Claire and Noah Droegemeier, Eli and Jay Butts; mother, Velda L. (Kermit) Kuhns; brother, Brad (Pam) Harvey; sisters, Brenda (Charlie) Harvey-Smith, Brockie (Todd) Follette, and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorial established with West Evangelical Free Church, 1161 N. Maize Rd., Wichita, KS 67212




When my health began to fail and I spoke with Ken about a service format for this gathering, he encouraged me to write my own faith story. I have done so, and what follows is my brief summary of my faith journey through this life.

As I leave this earth, I am confident that I am going to be with my heavenly father. I do not fear for my eternal salvation, and am not fearful of death, but rather very curious as to what awaits me in heaven.

My faith journey began at a young age. I was fortunate enough to have been raised by Christian parents and attended the Friends church at an early age. As a young child, I accepted Christ as my savior, before I really understood the magnitude of the gift of grace that Christ's crucifixion provided for us all. Instead, my early understanding of the Christian life was based on "dos and don'ts.'

Because I felt the standard was not to sin, I was always feeling guilty, because no one lives without sin. When I did sin, I felt I had fallen from grace, and therefore my eternal salvation was always in question. This belief stayed with me in my teen years and early adult life.

Like many of my fellow baby boomers, the 60's was a time of great temptation. Even though I was still active in church, I was beginning to be drawn into behaviors that were not reflective of a Christian life.

By the time I reached college age began to engage in more unhealthy behaviors. During my early adult years, i made some poor choices that resulted in some damaged relationships. Choices made during these years produced consequences that have followed me all through my life.

It wasn't until I reached the age of 31 that my faith journey took a turn. I had moved to the Topeka area with a new job opportunity, and began attending the First Christian Church in Overbrook, KS. It was there that my faith was renewed. I was introduced to the concept of grace as an unconditional gift from God, and that all we had to do was accept by faith, the gift of salvation. A verse that confirmed this for me, and the verse I read at my Dad's funeral is from the book of Romans: "Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1 & 2)

My life began to change, and my moral compass had been established. Not out of a sense of do's and don'ts', but out of a desire to serve a Savior that would offer such a gift to me. A gift that no matter what sins I had committed would still insure eternal salvation with my Lord. Make no mistake, this renewed relationship with Christ did not make me perfect or without sin, but it did give me peace that as long as I was pursuing a faith-based life, my salvation would be secure. I have shared with some of my children that my favorite verse and daily mantra over the years comes from Il Peter, vs. 5-8. It reads:

'Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if we possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" 

Although I had a deeper appreciation for the concept of grace, for years I continued to carry the guilt of choices made in my early adult life. Daily, my prayers included a request for forgiveness for the sins of those days. It wasn't until a counseling session with Pastor Ken, that I realized that once those sins were forgiven, God never remembers them again. Although I knew this from my own Bible study, I was unable to turn loose of this guilt until my session with Ken. Thank you, Ken.

Now, at the end of life, I feel a fullness in my faith, and live guilt free.

I was not given the gift of evangelizing. I think many aren't. But hope my witness to others was demonstrated by the way I lived my life each day.

I would also share with you that when Joyce and I were married, we committed to serve God and to try to live lives that would honor God and serve others. We have been faithful tithers since we were married, and God has blessed us greatly in return.

God's favor has been shown to us through our family and other blessings. Prayers for each of our children have been answered over the years. Each of us have our own faith journey, and I believe parents and grandparents help pray each of us through the hard years. I know my mother has probably developed large calluses on her knees from the years she spent praying for me. am so proud of our children and the fine parents and citizens they have become. Each of them and their spouses have been very special gifts to me. Just as we have prayed for our children, I know that they will be praying for my grandchildren.

God's favor to me personally was having a mate whose spirituality complimented my own. There is nothing quite as comforting as sharing Christ with your spouse. Joyce and I have shared so many moments that were "God" moments, I just can't begin to recount them all. God has answered so many of our prayers over the years. I have been blessed to have such wonderful Christian spouse in this life.

God's favor has been revealed to us through the wonder of His creation in nature. We have seen the beauty of creation in seeing Mt. Denali, the valleys of Alaska that revealed Grizzlies and Caribou, seeing whales bubble netting in a group, the highlands of Scotland, the diversity of nature in Ireland, the Grand Canyon, climbing Sacromonte Di Varese (Sacred Mountain with the stations of the cross) in Italy, the untouched earth of St. Andrews in Scotland (God invented golf for us you know), the beauty of the ocean lapping on Pebble Beach, the beauty of the Hawaiian islands, which we have shared with my siblings, and the opportunity to tour the Vatican in Rome. And many other sites too numerous to name.

An additional blessing to me personally has been the friendships of Christian men that I have known since high school and some since little league baseball at age 7. i have been blessed by having so many of my childhood friends and high school "buds" still in my life. It is a rare thing. Many of us were able to convene weekly for a golf match until I could not play any longer. God blessed me with great friends.....some friendships that lasted my lifetime.

Ken asked me to write my faith journey, and hope this has provided a snapshot of how a sinner comes to faith and is the undeserving recipient of God's grace and favor through the gift of his Son Jesus Christ. If Ken is reading this, then I have passed on to be with my Heavenly Father. I hated to leave Joyce and the family at this point in my life but know that I will see all of you again in Heaven.