March Family of the Month — Miriam Hoover

Posted February 12th, 2018

I had the privilege of interviewing Miriam Hoover as this month’s family of the month. She is one of four persons in our congregation who celebrates her 100th birthday during 2018. She resides by herself at The Cedars independent living. With the exception of her cousin, Doris Coppock, who also lives at The Cedars, she has no other family member nearby.

She is the lone survivor of seven other siblings, consisting of four boys and four girls. She credits her longevity to good diet, proper exercise, caring for others, a sense of humor and a positive attitude. She has been a member of the McPherson Church of the Brethren since 1971.

Her top priorities are her relationship with God, her family, and community at church and at The Cedars. She indicated that her family means everything to her. At Christmas she travelled to Boston for a family gathering. I am impressed that during the several times she travels each year one of her children comes to McPherson to accompany her on her trip.

She has four children each with several offspring. Her children all have advanced degrees and are making significant contributions to society across the U.S. In her home you see signs of creativity and accomplishments in their art work and a variety of gifts which they have given to her.

She was a partner with her husband, Wilbur, in a long career of pastoral ministry in the Church of the Brethren. With humor she said her husband married her under false pretenses. She never wanted to marry a minister, but early on in her marriage the church called her husband to be a minister. Nevertheless, she and her family thrived in that relationship with church communities serving in four states. She went out of her comfort zone to work with the youth group during this time. She has always been open to other’s religious faith and enjoys hearing their ideas.

I personally met Wilbur after he became a district executive and was impressed with his work and leadership to the Church of the Brethren. I thought he offered real stability and hope for all those around him. I see those same caring characteristics in Miriam today.

For the past several years I have participated in a small prayer group with Miriam. She is a regular, faithful participant. She shares her concern for other members of our community and her joy with her family. She is full of spunk, vitality, sensitivity for others, and hope for the present and the future. She hopes to stay healthy as long as she can while taking care of herself and wants to not become dependent on her family.

Even at her age she continues to be a significant part of our community. She cares for us and finds ways to express that care. She is a fine Christian elder who makes a fine example for all of us to follow. Miriam’s favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13, and she said her hardest task in her Christian life is controlling her tongue. She has satisfaction in the quality and love in her family as they impact the world.

In looking back she believes that raising her family has been her greatest achievement. From time to time persons acknowledge her influence on their lives from her youth work activities with them.

Thank God for your life among us!


Ken Holderread

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