Last night we bid “Aloha” to Pastor Rob Lloyd, husband of organist Margaret Lloyd, at Central Union Church. His obituary appeared in yesterday’s Star-Advertiser, but for those of you who have moved away from Hawaii and knew Rob, you might appreciate having more information about last night’s service. His obituary was also published in the Seattle Times.
He was on his way to Rwanda to do mission work when he fell critically ill in South Korea. When his plane landed in Hong Kong, he was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. Fortunately he was able to speak to his family through videoconferencing before he died. The Hawaii conference elder, Rev. Ralph Watts, was traveling in Vietnam and was miraculously able to get a flight to Hong Kong to spend the last hours at Rob’s bedside where he read scripture and sang hymns before he peacefully met his Lord.
We arrived about 5:15 pm and already the music had started. Connie Uejio and Nyle Hallman, harpists, were playing a duet, followed by music by the Honolulu Brass (Ken Hafner and Rick Broadwell, trumpets; George Warnock, horn; Jason Byerlotzer, trombone; and Thomas Hesch, bass trombone. I would guess that the actual service began with brass and organ music by Claudio Monteverdi, “Christe Redemptor” and “Deus in Adjutorium,” the latter from the Vespers of 1610. Margaret joined the brass on the organ in these two pieces as well as the opening hymn, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Lobe den Herrn).
There were altogether four speakers who paid tribute to Rob’s friendship, mentoring, service and mission, then a homily was given by Pastor Ralph S. Watts III. The speakers included five pastors from the Seventh-Day Adventists and the president of Castle Medical Center. The tributes were long, and were separated by musical selections. Blythe Kelsey-Takemasa and Christopher Kelsey sang César Franck’s Panis Angelicus, Cathy Goto and Blythe sang Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu, and Malia Ka’ai-Barrett sang Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise. The congregation sang two other hymns, For all the saints (Sine nomine) and The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended (St. Clement). Dinner was served in the parish hall to the hundreds of guests who came to the service.
It’s so hard to believe that only six weeks ago, Rob and his wife, Margaret, were in our home at the Hawaii Chapter American Guild of Organists annual meeting. Rob offered the table grace, and one thing that was mentioned in last night’s memorial service was the eloquence of Rob’s prayers. We got to know Rob through the Hawaii AGO meetings, because he accompanied Margaret to our activities. I really got to know Rob well when I was in the Japanese wedding circuit where he was frequently the officiant. He loved Hawaii, and loved wearing aloha shirts! He also loved words and used to send his family and friends scrambling for the dictionary.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith…
II. Timothy 4:7