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James Hughes Ghrist

james ghrist
James Hughes Ghrist, 89, formerly of 24 East Hallam Avenue, Washington, PA, passed away in the home of his Daughter, Major Karen R. Bennington, in San Antonio, Texas, Monday, 7 June 2004 following a brief battle with lung cancer. He was born July 5, 1914 in Pittsburgh, PA. to Howard Elmer and Flora Mae Snyder Ghrist. He attended Washington High School but due to a profound hearing loss he stopped going to school and began working to support his family. A self-made man, he continued his quest for knowledge and earned a degree in accounting from LaSalle University in a time when home study was rare. Mr. Ghrist was the book-keeper/Part-Owner for Herd's Drug Stores and the Greentree Restaurant for many years. After leaving there he was an accountant for Plasteel Corporation. His final & most rewarding position was as bookkeeper & accountant for the Washington Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge and Restaurant from which he retired. At Christmas time he was called upon by several local businesses to paint scenes on windows and mirrors of various establishments. On May 22, 1933 he married Gladys Lucinda Hutson Ghrist who expired 19 December 2003. The couple had been married for 70 years. His lifelong caring for Gladys, 'in sickness and in health' has been commended by many as exemplary and altruistic. He devoted his last 12 years to caring for her in their home. Mr. Ghrist was a member of the First United Methodist Church, a contributor to many charitable organizations, and avid sports enthusiast. He never stopped cheering for the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Pittsburgh Steelers, and most recently he added on another professional sports team, the San Antonio Spurs. He enjoyed working outdoors, conversation on current events, fishing, scenic rides, shooting pool, and oil-painting. He is survived by one Daughter, Major(USAF/Retired) Karen R. Bennington, one Granddaughter Shannon Michelle Turner, and two Great-Grandchildren all of San Antonio, Texas, and many nieces and nephews and extended family members. Deceased are his parents, Howard and Flora Mae Ghrist, brothers Elmer and Robert, sisters Norma Jane ('Janie'), who passed away in infancy, and Evelyn Jamison. Cremation by MeadowLawn Memorial Park & Crematory, 5611 East Houston Street, San Antonio. Two Memorial Services are planned, one in San Antonio, Tx, Monday, June 21, 2004, 10 A: M: at the Stone Pagoda in the Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge Park and the other in Washington, PA, at a later date in July. Interment Services for James and Gladys will follow the memorial service at Mission Burial Park South, 1700 S. E. Military. Dr. Messages of sympathy may be mailed to family members at 8423 Ridge Stone Street, San Antonio, Tx 78251-2225. Donations may be made in the Honor of James H. Ghrist, to 'Foundation for End of Life Care' Vitas Hospice, 5430 Fredericksburg Road, Suite 200, San Antonio, Tx 78229

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Memories Timeline


  1. Oh Poppa! There are no words known to share with you how much you will always be loved, how much you meant to me and how empty my life will be without you. Thank you for being the honest, hardworking, devoted husband and father you were for all those years. I was hoping to bring so much joy into the rest of your life by bringing you to Texas, I felt my efforts were interrupted when God called you home. Am sure you are in Heaven, able to hear, run, jump, eat, walk and be with Mama again now. My tears will subside but never be absent~save a room in the Heavenly Mansion for me. I will see you when my work on Earth is through. I love you! Tell Mama and Reed I love & miss them too! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO Brat Child

  2. I never had the honor of meeting Mr Ghrist but I did have the honor of meeting his grandaughter, Shannon. I know that children and grandchildren with great hearts do not just happen. It is instilled in them. Shannon does have a great heart and zest for life. I know that she received much of these great traits from her dear grandfather. She will make him proud. Blessings Roi Garcia

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Karen, at this difficult. You are a tower of strength at this time.

  4. Our sympathy to you and yours Karen. Your Dad was very fortunate to have been loved and cared for like you did right up to the end. YOu are a strong woman. Take comfort in the fact that your Dad and Mom are happy together again–no pain and no problems. Peace at last!! God Bless You.

  5. Your family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. God is loving and merciful.

  6. It will never be the same, and while we’re here on earth, there will never be an answer or explanation that makes it okay to lose a loved one. But our comfort is found in the Lord. In His arms your loved one has found peace and ever- lasting joy. In His arms may you find hope and reassurance of his love.

  7. We know you are now in a safe and wonderful place Mr. Ghrist. Thoughts and prayers are with you always Karen. You are a very strong and wonderful woman for taking care of your parents the way tou did. My other mother.GOD BLESS! xoxoxo

  8. Dearest Karen Life for you hasn’t been easy this past year,but you have been the strong, loving,and caring person that your parents taught you to be and I’m sure that they are so proud of you. They are looking down on the wonderful person that they created and they are smiling.

  9. Dearest and Most Loving Dad~ Well, here it is my first Fathers’ Day without you in 57 years! Sure feels strange, but in many ways you are right here with me, forever in my heart. Least I know that you and Mama are together in the House of the Lord, Bet she is very happy to have you there as today is her birthday as well. (Happy Birthday Mama!!) I remember how she used to rub it in that she was just those few days older than you. Enjoy your day. I am still planning the Memorial Serivce for tomorrow, last minute details and all, you know me. Hope the service will meet with your’s and Mama’s satisfaction. I love you both!!! Your loving daughter, XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO Karen

  10. Dearest Mom and Dad-I know that you are safely in Heaven, but those of us who are still left behind will be having a Memorial Service to you both today. I have put a lot of love and care into each detail, have called all my friends in San Antonio, E-Mailed others, prayed for good weather (and I think I am going to get it) and constructed the program. It will be at one of your favorite places, the Japanese Tea Garden in Brackenridge Park, then on to the cemetary here that most looks like those you were used to in Pennsylvania. Oh! I hope that I can get through this day. While it seems so final here, we will meet again in Heaven, some day, as God has promised. And we will have another Memorial for you in PA, just do not know when yet, soon though. Till then, I love you, I love you, I love you. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  11. My Deepest sympathy goes to you are your family. May God guide and comfort you in the days ahead

  12. Dear Karen, The service for your parents was beautiful and I thought the tributes that your friends made were especially touching. Thank you for placing the confidence in me to handle the service for your family. It was my goal to make it easier and less painful for you. I hope I did that for you. Very truly yours, Craig Cates, Meadowlawn

  13. I remember the great times we had at your house just sitting around the dining room table and talking.

  14. Dear Mom and Dad-Still so hard to believe that you ar both gone, but I know through my faith that you are both now reunited and in Heaven. I have just not been able to complete the condolance thank you cards for Daddy, but have finally gotten the rough draft done today. I will attempt to copy it onto this E-Mail, but I doubt that it will be spaced as the final cards will read. I love and miss you both more than words can ever express. James Hughes Ghrist 5 July 1914 – 7 June 2004 Caring & obedient son, honest man, loving & devoted husband, ever-cherished & loved Father, Pappap & Greatgrandfather, Christian, relative, boss, friend, care-giver, businessman, neighbor It seems the ones that we love the most are taken from us far too soon! Allowing him the autonomy to tell me when he & Mama were ready to come to Texas was very difficult, but how things had to be. When loss & grief have torn apart the world we thought we knew words & thoughts are frozen in one’s heart until enough time to heal allows them to flow forth. This composition has been particularly difficult with the number of significant losses in a short amount of time. Even with the delay, each act of love, card of sympathy, call of condolance, prayer, & act of kindness have all been significantly recorded in our hearts. In his last few days he never complained of much pain, only tiredness. His spiritual journey will live in my heart forever! Deaf, he heard one loud, earth-shaking voice declare, “God!” “You mean you did not hear it, it shook your whole house!” He spoke of, “All the people who came to see me just now”… Your Mom, my brothers & sisters, Mildred & Earl, Bertha, Gert, Jean, there must have been at least twelve people, are they still here, do we have enough food to feed them all? They have come a long way to see me!” I assured him we did & I would hasten to prepare it for them. He called out, “OK, I’m ready to go with you now.” “Once he asked, “Do you think that I will make it to Heaven?” To which I gave a rapid thumbs up, big smile & vigorous head nodding. There was no doubt in my mind that he would not find Heaven as a final resting spot. And within a few short days he departed. He opened his eyes to look around twice more the evening he passed away with me on his left side & Shannon on his right side.. His last two breaths unlabored, peaceful, & then he was gone. A wise man, a loving man, a man who stuck to his marital vows for seventy years and for him nothing worth doing took any shortcuts. It was done right or not done at all. Our family wishes to thank your for your support, prayers, cards, plants & flowers and monetary donations to the Vitas Hospice End of Life Care. Thank you for attending the combined Memorial Services held as a Tribute to Life and Love of Jim and Gladys Ghrist, either in San Antonio, Texas or in Washington, Pennsylvania. There combined burial site is at Mission Park South, San Antonio, Texas Karen Rea (Ghrist) Bennington Mr & Mrs Marc Turner Ethan Hughes Turner Elise Erin Turner PERSEVERANCE: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 NIV Charity: “We must give what we have, but we must also give what we are.” Desire-Joseph Mercier Courage: “…to bear unflinchingly in what Heaven sends us.” Euripedes Determination: “The great thing in the world is not so much where we are, but in which direction we are moving.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Faith: “The strength by which a shattered world shall emerge in the light.” Helen Keller Gratitude: “A single grateful thought raised to Heaven is the most perfect prayer.” Gotthold Ephraim Lessing Hope: “…is faith holding its hand out in the dark” George Iles Humility: “Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.” Ezra Taft Benson Integrity: “One of the salvations paths, it distinguishes itself from others because it is the right path and the only path on which you will not get lost.” M. H. McKee Joy: “Is the sight of the blue skies that fill you with joy. It is the simple things of nature that have a message that you understand. Rejoice it means that your soul is alive.” Eleanora Duse Kindness: “Is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain Love: “I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts then there is no hurt, but only more love.” Mother Teresa Patience: “ Never think that God’s delays are denials. Hold on, hold fast, hold out! Patience is genius!” Conte Georges Louis Leclere De Buffon Peace: “We must come to see that peace is not nearly a distant goal that we seek, but it is a means by which we eventually reach that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.” Martin Luther King, Jr “Life is a process that includes one final step, the ones I had to leave behind to step through Heaven’s Gate. Please know that I will always love you and I wished we had had more time. I know how much you loved me, and though I was a man of several words, those strong emotions ran true. Perhaps I should have told you more. I am somehow hoping that you knew. So each and every time you think of me know that I am forever in your heart! Thank you for loving me and giving me many reasons to smile. My request of you is that you believe in God as you know Him, live well, love much, and laugh often! I will see you in Heaven when your work here on earth is through. Remember I love you!” James Hughes Ghrist And I want you both to remember how very much I love you! Love for a lifetime and beyond! Your Daughter, Karen

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