Gathering and Remembering

Hershel Shoffner and his Fiddle
Hershel and his Fiddle

Abby’s family gathered for her father Hershel Shoffner’s passing this weekend. As you might remember from reading about her family’s reunions, there are a lot of family, and they are close.

Hershel’s funeral at the Ryan, Oklahoma, Methodist Church was packed. There were musicians who played piano and fiddle, since Hershel was a fiddler. Hershel also loved westerns, so his coffin was wheeled out of the church to “Happy Trails.” Anyone not crying by then found it irrepressible. I was honored that one of my photos, of Hershel outside his workshop barn at sunset one December, was on the cover of the funeral program. I also produced a short DVD slide show of photos I’d made of Hershel in the seven years I knew him, to Cindy Morgan’s “Most of All,” a song about losing a loved one. Everyone appreciated it.

At the grave side, I was impressed by the dignity of the U. S. Navy’s flag ceremony, and equally impressed by the lengthy, complicated Freemason’s ceremony.

William Hershel Shoffner, 1923-2010
William Hershel Shoffner, 1923-2010


  1. Just looking at Mr. Shoffner’s pictures. Carhart jacket, carhart hat, earnest, straight-forward gaze, stoic grin…this man’s face exudes kindness, sincerity, and honor. It would have been a privledge to have known him.

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