Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Robert Angelo Traina, One of Our Greatest Supporters Passes

We are currently at a two week program in Michigan and we received the news yesterday that my grandfather passed away. For those of you who are interested viewing hours will be Friday from 6-9pm at Kerr Brothers off of Harrodsburg Road in Lexington, KY. His memorial service will be at Estes Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY at 3:30pm on Saturday.


As a child when asked “Who is your hero?” I would think of my grandfathers and I often responded, “My Po Po.” My Po Po is my grandpa Traina.

When I think of my grandfather I immediately think of his accomplishments. He wrote and printed a book by the time he was my age and that book is still used today as a textbook in many Bible classes at seminaries.

My grandfather came from a poor, formerly catholic Italian family. He grew up in inner city Chicago. His parents converted to Protestantism when he was young. And later in his life his love for the Bible grew. In his graduate work he took 36 hours of Bible courses and dedicated his life to studying and teaching the Bible inductively. In my parents’ basement lay notebook after notebook of my grandfather’s personal inductive Bible studies.

Over the years my grandfather’s work influenced many including Eugene Peterson who claims his work would not be possible without my grandfather’s influence. Who knows…Maybe the Message might not have existed without my Po Po. His work also greatly influenced Dr. David Bauer who teaches at ATS. Dr. Bauer’s teaching has enormously impacted my husband’s life and one of my college prof’s who’s class changed my life forever. Josh and I would not have our great love for Bible study if it weren’t for my grandfather. He has left us a gift more precious than any earthly possession.

One thing that few people know about my grandfather is how generous he was with his money. He was extremely good with his money and he and my grandmother saved all they could to give away. Their goal was to save so that when they died they would have a significant amount of money to give. He gave large amounts to support our ministry over the years and most recently blessed us with his car because he didn’t want us to get into debt buying one. He paid cash for his cars.

I can think of no other person I know that I’d rather be like. He had a sense of humor that I admired and loved to talk about the Bible and theology. Though he went through some very difficult times near the end of his life, he was a humble and kind man, never afraid to stand up for what he believed in. Recently, his words comforted me as he told me that he was proud of me for doing the right thing, for thinking outside of the box, and taking the road less traveled. He always encouraged us in our ministry and in our lives. If I could only come close to leaving such a legacy I would be happy.

Thanks Po Po for forever changing this world with you presence and for impacting the life of this granddaughter.

Love,
Jennifer Rebecca

3 comments:

Heidi M. said...

Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. So sorry for your loss! Love you guys!

Dawn Evans said...

Love it, Jennifer! What a sweet tribute. I shared it with some of my close friends. :)

Love you!

Suzanne said...

Wow, what a wonderful legacy he has left. My prayers are with you as you mourn the loss of his presence here on earth and celebrate his union with Christ in heaven. Blessings,
Suzanne