As shared with Nancy Showers

Out for lunch and between bites of chicken sandwiches, George Hauck enabled me to consume a sampling of his family history and its place in our Messiah Lutheran Church. George was baptized by Pastor Weikel, confirmed by Pastor Logan, and is now serving with Pastor Chilton his second round on church council…and, therefore, literally knows what it means to “grow up in the church.”

Grace and Clarance Hauck, George’s parents, lived in Hartleton, then Market Street in New Berlin, then nestled on Hauck Lane in eastern New Berlin. Well, this family of nine children (David, John, Mary Catherine, Jane, Betty, Mick, Evelyn, George, and Brenda) joined the rest of the extended family for Sunday worship and—as George explained—“took up the better part of the right side of the church.” (Take a look on Sundays to see family members still warming traditional Hauck pew positions: Betty, Dennis, Mick & Mary, and George himself.)

Reminiscing further, George described the area below the sanctuary: “The front door wasn’t used too hard after church”; translated this means that almost everyone stayed for Christian education as curtains were drawn to create two adult classrooms plus areas for children. (The parish hall didn’t come on the scene until 1965.) And, in 1988, it was George who assisted church and community members to “raise the roof” to squelch leaks seeping from the original flat roof. Today—fittingly—George oversees church property concerns as well as works part-time for Limestone Township.

Work & then play? At its height, George’s erstwhile farming career centered on 120 milk cows and 120 heifers. (OK, getting smarter as I learned that a heifer is a cow from birth until about age 2…not merely a “baby cow.”) And then play? George now helps with tractor-pulling events at the West End Fair. Heard all about stone-boat pulling to transfer-sled pulling and struggled a tad to understand these fascinating skills. Now soliciting company to head with me to these events at the next fair and not be solely content with the animal stalls; grunts of engines vie easily with livestock voices of the barns.

More locally, and without engine strain, George has taken the helm of his tractor to guide our church’s float through town during carnival week. And this year of 2019, George proudly captained the tractor-driven Lungs for Logan thank you/celebratory float in Mifflinburg’s Firemen’s Parade. {FYI: Logan=George’s great-nephew.}

Coming off the perch of a tractor, George loves 4-wheelin’ and this summer immersed himself in God’s country of Potter county, one day traveling 105 miles as he tandemed with six machines and 12 other riders. In this vehicle repertoire, tractors and 4-wheelers were recently joined with a new experience for George: please ask him about his first-ever roller-coaster experience at Knoebel’s Amusement Park!

Supporting George’s immersion in life itself is dedication to family (wife Marilee and children Barry, Anita, Crystal, & Joan) and commitment to his faith. Amazing Grace is his favorite hymn—heart-felt each time he hears it—coupled with reliance on the promise of John 3:16.

George and I departed the restaurant with sandwiches consumed (but toting uneaten chips and pickles)…appreciating this day in a deeper way:  honored and inspired by the faith that continues through this family’s generations.

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