Wednesday, August 14, 2013

46 Years Ago

It was 46 years ago that my Dad Ferrell Anderson had a heart attack while fishing at the Lamar river near his cabin in Silver Gate, Montana.  This is a picture I recently found of him that so depicted who he was.  The big smile, the happy husband, father, friend, leader, merchant, outdoorsman--what a great guy whom we all loved so much.  I remember when he was reading something about there being no mountains in the hereafter (I have no idea what it was he was reading, whether it was true or not) but he was devastated--how can we live without mountains??? 

Ferrell's daughter Marilyn shares a memory of Dad's last day on earth.  He was at his beloved Silver Gate cabin.

We were a few days late getting to the cabin.  Randy and Bobby both were getting over the flu.  Jeanne and her family had been to the cabin the week before and Mom and Dad had taken a few days to go back to Idaho Falls before we came.  Dad had worked a day at the Church Farm and had felt like he had a heart attack.  They went to see Dr. Lyman Knutson, Lorin’s son-in-law.  I think he wasn’t sure but he did give Dad the nitro pills. 

We arrived Sunday late afternoon and as soon as we had eaten Arky and Dad went into the park to fish.  I think it was around 6 PM. 

Around 8 PM a ranger came to the door and said there had been an accident and would Mom and I follow him.  Sherry was about 11 and we left the kids with her.  I had never driven into the Park so fast.  Mom was very quiet. We followed the rangers to the curve in the highway where the Soda Butte meets the Lamar River.  The ranger stopped right at the curve and we also.  I jumped out and left Mom and I ran across the Soda Butte (not too deep) and ran across the field and trees to the Lamar River where I could see Arky waiting.  Since we had just arrived from the low altitude Texas, it was a hard run. 

The second I saw Dad with a smile on his relaxed face and a full creel, I knew his Spirit was already out of the body and I felt his Spirit and it was a most wonderful, peaceful feeling.  It was a big testimony to me of life after death.  Dad was there but I felt so peaceful and strangely calm.  I have never had that same feeling again.  Mom already knew also and was calm and peaceful.  It is strange to think that now but it was so. 

Arky, son-in-law of Ferrell, describes what happened prior to his death:

Late afternoon Ferrell and I drove the Toyota down to fish the upper Lamar River.  We parked the Toyota across the road from the spot where Soda Butte Creek runs into the Lamar River.  We took our fishing gear and waded across the Soda Butte, headed upstream on the Lamar, fishing along the way.  I went quite a distance ahead and fished till it was getting late and headed back toward the car. 

I had walked some distance in the meadow beside the Lamar when I spotted Ferrell some thirty or forty yards ahead of me.  He seemed to be looking at me, but before he could say a word he collapsed.  I rushed to him and couldn’t feel a pulse so did mouth to mouth resuscitation with no sign of breathing or pulse.  After a short period I spotted a fisherman coming down the trail and I asked him if he would stay with Ferrell while I ran back to the car and drove to the Lamar Ranger Station to get help.  They had the Silver Gate Rangers get in touch with the family at the cabin. 

The rangers brought the body back to the highway.  I think an ambulance came from the Lake Station hospital and took him to Lake Hospital.  We returned to the cabin.  This was a sad day but Ferrell did catch his limit of fish.

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