Letter to the Editor

Memories of walking to funeral

Saturday, May 21, 2005

To the editor:

Congratulations to Steven Bender for his excellent story and photo (in The Best Years magazine) of the old Trinity Lutheran Church at Egypt Mills. Many of my friends -- Kessels, Dunns, Rakoffs, Heises -- are buried there. The first funeral I attended was there in honor of Mr. Steinhof, who lived in a large house just in front of the Iona School.

Mr. Heise taught all subjects in eight grades there, and it was my first year in school. I was just 6 years old. At noon, Mr. Heise announced the funeral of Mr. Steinhof, and anyone who wanted to attend was excused from class.

There were no transportation facilities in those days, and it was five miles to the church. I walked alone. Even now I can remember walking the lonely road.

As I neared the church and climbed the hill, I could hear the bell toll for the many years that Mr. Steinhof was alive among us.

Much later, after a 3 1/2-year hitch in the military, I returned to the Egypt Mills-Indian Creek area only to learn that Mr. Steinhof's son, Henry, had been killed during an attempted robbery in Cape Girardeau. Since I don't know the details, I won't mention it further.

PAUL TRIPP, San Mateo, Calif.