A little light on a cold night

Pat Mellenthin, Prairie Home Hospice & COMMUNITY CARE director (right), was joined Saturday by Shelly Versaevel with Prairie Home Hospice, Tracy resident Claire Hannasch, who attended in the memory of two sons, and Tracy United Methodist Pastor Nick Scutari. Photo / Per Peterson

Lost loved ones remembered at Light to Remember ceremony

The tree in front of the Veterans’ Memorial Center was lit up Saturday, as Prairie Home Hospice & Community Care’s “Light to Remember” ceremony came to an end. Photo / Per Peterson

A small group of people braved 2-degree temperatures at Prairie Home Hospice & Community Care’s Light to Remember tree lighting ceremony on Saturday evening.

The event was rescheduled to this past weekend because of a snowstorm on the original date, Nov. 30. Pat Mellenthin, Prairie Home Hospice director, was joined Saturday by Tracy United Methodist Pastor Nick Scutari, Tracy resident Claire Hannasch, who attended in the memory of two sons, and Shelly Versaevel with Prairie Home Hospice.

Huddled together at the front entrance of the Veterans Memorial Center, the foursome held candles as Pastor Scutari read from Isaiah, Chapter 9: “People who have walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who lived in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shined.” He also read from Chapter 8 in the Book of John: “And Jesus spoke to them, ‘I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’”

Scutari also spoke about how much literal darkness there is at this time of year, with the winter solstice.

“Darkness is one of the things that’s so prominent at this time of year — how much more darkness there is in our lives right now,” added Scutari. “With this time of year just comes more darkness. For some of us who are here this evening, darkness also comes in the form of pain and suffering and sadness when we’re grieving the loss of a loved one.”

Scutari noted that he lost a close friend to cancer earlier this year at the age of 37.

“The thing about darkness is that it will always give way to light,” he said. “It may take time … but the promise of Christ rings true for us. Jesus will be the light of our lives — giving us hope, and offering us forgiveness.”

The names of some local people who have been lost were also read in their memory: Vione Addison, Bob Anderson, Hector Anderson, Lucy Anderson, Gene Averill, Jim Creager, Janet Cyr, Eugene Elliot, Brian French, Lois Furlong, Wayne Greeley, Marjorie Guimond Elliot, LaVonne and Merle Hamilton, Christopher Hannasch, Kevin P. Hannasch, Austin Jenniges, Susan Jenniges, Ardyce Johnson, Gordon Johnson, Elmer Klein, Marlys Lauden, Judy Lenertz, Lawrence Lenertz, Cynde Livingston, William Luckhardt, LaVonne Lutz, Cecil Majors, Helen Majors, Virgil Mathews, Anita Meyer, Lorraine Meyer, Wayne Meyer, Ray O’Donnell, Ruth O’Donnell, Betty Peterson, Omar Peterson, Ed Putte, Mary Putte, Octaaf Putte, Viola Putte, Bud and Martha Radke, Jane Roots, Bertha Rolland, Cathy Rue, Junior Saxton, Hazel Shaw, LeRoy Shaw, Bea and Vogie Vogel, Donald Weedman and Eunice Weedman.