Lionel Phillips Camara

(November 7, 1913 - July 10, 2006)

Memorial Service Main Page and Recordings

July 15, 2006 Memorial Service Transcripts

< Track 05: Eulogy (LJC) - 1 Thes. 4:13-5:11


Track 06: Eulogy (LJC) - Part 1


Track 07: Eulogy (LJC) - 1 Cor. 15:35-58 >


I’m going to start with a prayer.
Father, I ask you to open our ears to your word. I ask that you send your Spirit to touch our hearts this morning so that we are ready to receive. And I ask that you use my words for your purposes.

READ – 1 Thess. 4:13-5:11 {~3 min.}

INTRO {~2 min.}

As most of you know, I'm an “only child”. You also probably know that means that I think everything is about me. So I’m going to start by talking about me.

I was raised by a single mom. For the first 8 or 9? years, we lived with my grandparents (Granny & Avu), and since my mom worked, they did a large part of the job of raising me.

That meant that I basically had 3 parents, and (being the enterprising person that I am) I quickly learned how to play them off of each other to get what I wanted – I knew who to ask for what. I was a full-on brat, but of course they always thought that I was a perfect angel. :)

and Grandpa did an excellent job of spoiling me rotten. It seemed like almost every time we were in Sears or Longs in Ala Moana, I was able to get another Star Wars action figure or LEGO set out of him.

In fact, it didn't really dawn on me until his 70th birthday party (just before I turned 7), that he was my cousins' grandpa, too (not just mine). I knew they were my cousins, and he was my Grandpa, but for some reason I never made that connection. Like I said – everything was about me.

But, when I wasn’t trying to con him into giving me something, I spent a lot of time with him outside.

I remember him taking me to the park down the street & playing with me on the seesaw, and watching me climb on the jungle gym.

I remember trying to get him to run with me – to play tag or whatever.

I remember riding on his shoulders (in the house) when I was small, reaching up to touch the ceiling, and him having to bend down for the doorway to the patio – because he was so tall and I couldn't bend down low enough to clear the door frame.

And he loved to work in the yard -
planting rose bushes,
transplanting plants to bigger pots,
starting new plants from clippings & seeds.


I spent a lot of time with him digging in the dirt. There was a time when I was too small to use the pickaxe, but later on I had to do that kind of stuff for him.

I remember planting corn & green beans & whatever in the garden.
I remember helping him dig in the dirt on the other side of the house and finding a diamond – that had just fallen out of one of his rings.

I remember helping him reorganize all the potted plants that he had under the mountain apple tree.

I remember “helping” him pick avocados (with the pole) – and probably making it a whole lot harder for him.
I remember the old one that didn’t even have a wire basket – you’d just attach a plastic grocery bag underneath the loop.

I remember eating mountain apples with him – fresh off the tree.
I remember tasting the Isabella grapes and wondering why you’d bother growing grapes that weren’t good for eating.

I remember him teaching me how to use the lawn mower (the clutch, throttle, etc.) and how I'd try to use the hill in the backyard to catch a little air when the mower swung around. He didn’t like me doing that. :) I always told him “Grandpa, you worry too much. The blade will stop spinning if I loose my grip on the handle.”

I remember that we used to tease him about his “dirty” knees. He had these dark areas on his knees that we always thought were from kneeling out in the yard & the dirt “tattooing” or staining his skin (or him not scrubbing hard enough to get it off). But he'd stubbornly insist that it was just the color of his skin, or that it was his leg hair that made it look darker.
I remember that we tried to get him to use a knee pad, but it seemed that he could never be bothered with it – he was always moving along and didn't want to keep moving it with him. Whenever I’d tell him that he should use it, he might use it at first, but it wouldn’t be long before he’d say something like “here, you use this thing. It’s not for me.”

I remember that when he started breaking vertebrae (from osteoporosis) we tried to tell him to "take it easy" in the garden, but that was like telling him to stop breathing – it just wasn’t something he could do on a long term basis. He might take some pain killers & not go out for a few days, but he’d be back at it again before long.

I never really “saw” him at his full height. He had already broken several vertebrae (and lost several inches) before I was fully grown (so we passed each other going in opposite directions), and it's a little hard for me to imagine how tall he used to be.

READ – 1 Cor. 15:35-58 {~3 min.} (perishable; seed dies)


The first two pages of my notes (above) were pretty decently polished so I pretty much just read from them. There were some changes (I italicized the headings that were for my reference, and some of the stuff that I didn't read). I haven't included the additions, but you'll get the idea.

I didn't start by reading the prayer above, like I'd intended. I wound up praying it silently (or something similar - a standard "Holy Spirit between my mouth and your ears" type of prayer).