Thank you all for being here. Your presence is a tremendous source of comfort to our family and a testament to the fact that Mom invested her life in people. You are all here because Kathy LeDuc touched your life in a profound way. I know Mom would not be comfortable with us making much of her this morning. She would only want Jesus Christ to be glorified and made much of. But I hope to do both.
Proverbs 31:25-31 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.”
Mom did not have a big personality or a larger-than-life presence; rather, she exerted influence wherever she was through her quiet faithfulness. She had a unique ability to truly know the people in her life, discern their needs, and love them well. She was a selfless servant who brought joy and positive change into other’s lives through intentional, relational influence. One can hardly picture her without her smile which could light up an entire room. One can hardly remember her voice without hearing her joyful laughter. One can hardly remember her idle for she was always helping, supporting, serving, encouraging, and sacrificing for others.
Mom was born in Kittery, ME on June 23, 1960. She grew up in Rye and as the oldest of five siblings, her motherly instincts were animated very early. She loved being the protective big sister and caring for her siblings. In fact, she loved it so much some believe that her parents had their fifth child, Uncle Jake, just for her. She wanted her new baby brother to be a sister and even dressed him up in baby girl clothes. When her mom welcomed needy children from the community into their home, she was there to help. She enjoyed riding horses and working at the thoroughbred farm. She graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1978.
In 1989, after one of her best friends, Peggy, passed away, she was introduced to her widowed husband Mike. Very quickly and obvious to all, their relationship blossomed into something much deeper and in Brady Bunch fashion, they were married on June 23rd that same year, each bringing three kids into the family. You’d think that they were overwhelmed with six kids under six, but together they had number seven, Jessalyn—their honeymoon baby. Dad recounts that Mom was always tender and calm with all of us young kids. She was so gifted at being a mother and had this beautiful glow about her when she was with children as if it was her God-given calling. In 1992, she officially adopted Tim, Doug, and myself so that it would be evident to us and to all that we were her boys and she was our mother. Then in 1994, they had another baby, number eight, everyone’s little buddy Michael. Mom and Dad were happily married for 32 years. They were devoted to one another, their children, their local church, their friends, and to Christ.
Our family grew up in Strafford and Northwood. Mom loved being a wife and stay-at-home mom. And she was an exceptionally skilled home-maker. Our life had a fixed rhythm—dinner every night at the table together, church on Sundays, AWANA on Thursday nights, 242 Bible study group on Friday nights, and crazy mornings trying to get us to school. We spent almost every day of the summer at Bow Lake. We had all kinds of pets, played rec sports, went strawberry picking, apple picking, hiking, we visited our grandparents, took day-trips to Newfound Lake . . . and through it all, she never missed a single birthday. She was an amazing cook and had established traditions for every holiday. She would wake up early before all of us and have everything ready and set up. She made the best chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners were to die for. From dancing to country music videos in the living room, playing whiffle ball in the back yard, reenacting bible stories and singing worship songs—our home was always busy and fun. And even as we grew older, she made sure that our home was always open to our friends.
Although she was rather shy, she could not avoid attention because of the sheer size of her family. We used to go shopping at Market Basket in single file behind her like little ducklings. Of course, you all remember our sore-thumb-of-a-vehicle—the big blue, 15-passenger Ford Club Wagon van. And even to make things worse, every time we dropped Mom off at a grocery store to grab something real quick, Dad would pull up to her with his vanload of kids, pretend he was a single father, and yell out the window at her that he was looking for a mother for his children. She would always be embarrassed, but would laugh and tell him, “Oh stop it.”
We resonate with John Wesley who once wrote, “I learned more about Christianity from my mother than all the theologians in England.” Although she came to know Jesus Christ as her Savior in her late teens, Mom’s faith truly began to blossom in the early 90’s under the expository preaching of John Spring at Epsom Baptist Church and the teaching of Dr. John MacArthur. Her faith was bolstered and enflamed by the Doctrines of Grace. And her discipleship skills were sharpened by studying biblical counseling alongside Dad. They would go to conferences and read books together; Mom even helped Dad type his papers. She was a faithful member of Epsom Bible Church for 20 years. She helped plant and establish Reformation Bible Church. And she was recently a faithful member of Fellowship Bible Church in Chester.
She loved her Savior. Early in the mornings, she could be found reading her Bible. She read so she could know Jesus Christ and become more like him and to help others do the same. She was also a faithful prayer warrior. She kept lists of prayer requests and prayed purposefully and specifically for the people in her life, especially her children. From the time we were young to even recent months, she had a pulse on each us individually. She loved us unconditionally for who we were yet also knew where we needed to go and gently helped us get there. She modeled compassion and forgiveness, always encouraged us to overlook offenses, look for the best in others, and pursue reconciliation.
Throughout the years she dedicated her life to serving others. She intentionally and joyfully inconvenienced herself for the good of others. It was her ordinary way. She ran Dad’s business, organized a carpool to pick up multiple kids on the way to school, and hosted a large Bible study at her house every Friday night. She cared for Dad’s mom, Gramma Flo, visiting with her and taking her to her appointments. She developed a sweet relationship with Francis Witham and spent much time visiting with her. She loved being the secretary and nurse at Cornerstone Christian Academy. She studied to become an LNA. She helped run the books at the new church plant. She faithfully taught Sunday School classes for young children in every church she was part of. She welcomed our friends to live in their home at various times of need. Mom and Dad even sold their house and left their community so she could provide full-time care for both her parents. It was her joy to honor them in this way for the past four years.
Even though her days were brimming with the responsibilities of being a faithful wife, daughter, mother, and a grandmother, she carved out time to spend with cherished friends. She was a wise counselor, a faithful encourager, a selfless servant, a compassionate caregiver, and a skilled administrator. She took on a lot—more than most of us could handle. She had a unique ability to organize, manage, and multi-task. It was all for the sake of others. And she never sought recognition or affirmation and she never complained. She would always ask, “What do you need? How can I help?” And she would serve us gladly saying it was her privilege and pleasure.
In God’s kindness, Mom lived to see all eight of her kids get married and become parents. She immediately welcomed all the in-laws and made them feel like a part of our family. She loved them, knew them, and cared for them with thoughtful intentionality. She was faithful with little, so God blessed her with much. He gave her 18 grandchildren. And she was the most amazing Grammy (or Mémé). She never missed a birthday and had an intentional way of making each of them feel special. Through phone calls, Facetime, cards, letters, gifts, and visits (even to CA and VA), she maintained a relationship with them all. She was always willing to help us in any way with our children, always generous with her time and resources.
Kathy Jean LeDuc was the light of our lives. She was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend. We were all wrecked and ruined by her sudden passing. We were blindsided, unprepared, and shocked. She was so young and beautiful. She was in her prime. We all believed had much more time with her. Although we all have broken hearts and shattered dreams, our hope has not perished, all our joy has not turned to gloom. We have hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We mourn because she is no longer with us. But we don’t mourn for her. We rejoice that she is more alive than ever before in the presence of her Savior and we rejoice in her rich legacy. We rejoice that she has been welcomed home by her Father with the declaration “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We know that her faith is sight, her hope is realized, and that her joy is full because she confessed she was a sinner and clung tightly to Jesus alone for her salvation. It’s hard to imagine a woman happier than being with her 18 grandchildren, but we believe that today in the presence of her Savior, she is. Her smile is bigger. Her laugh is louder. She is fully satisfied.
As we are tempted to protest her seemingly premature death, to question God, to demand answers, and even to be angry at Him, she would encourage us to turn our protest to praise. She would remind us that God is sovereign, wise, and completely good—that whatever he ordains is right. She would say he knows best and is up to something good. Nothing would bring her more joy than for us to look past her this morning and see Jesus Christ.
As we wade through this grief, we will think of her and speak of her often. The void she leaves behind is immeasurable. She will be sweetly remembered and sorely missed every single day until we are reunited with her in glory. May her legacy continue on in the lives of all who knew her. May her investment in us have a daily and an enduring influence. What a gracious gift she was! “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” We entrust her life-giving spirit to the one who gave her life.
Wow! Peter, what an honor to have such a beautiful mum. She comes through in your character and heart. What comfort to know she is with our Lord and Savior in perfect peace and complete joy! Thank you for sharing her with us.
What a beautiful testimony of your beloved mom. I feel I know her a little bit through your writing. I see her in you and your sweet sister, Jenny.
Praise the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. I miss you, Peter, and hope to visit you in the future, Lord willing.