Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2009 - (Page 54)

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” – John 14:2-4 BY ROB JOHNSON, NRWA CEO FROM THE CEO That day reminded me that our Rural Water association was not the work of any one person but the cumulative achievements of many people’s dedicated dreams and efforts. “DO NOT LET your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” As so many funerals had begun before, so did this one. Except this was for a very special close friend and I was the one quoting Jesus. Approximately 75 close friends and family gathered the evening before to share special memories of Billy Frank Parnell. The fun-loving prankster’s episodes brought great laughter and tears with many of these stories never heard by his family. At the funeral the following morning, people very important to the growth of the Rural Water movement were everywhere. Our president, Fred Sheldon, four past presidents and several future presidents were there. Several board members who served with Bill on the national, state and local board attended. Many state association executive directors came. My father was there. That day reminded me that our Rural Water association was not the work of any one person but the cumulative achievements of many people’s dedicated dreams and efforts. As leaders have stepped down, others have stepped up. Goals are achieved and new ones created. There have always been special people with their own special skills, willing to help and available at just the right time and place in our association. Bill participated in much of our advancement. He was there in the early days when a training program was our identity and we were wrestling with what an association does. Only a few of the primacy agencies wanted a working relationship with us and the other water associations ignored us. Gradually, all of that has changed. NRWA’s state associations have over 27,000 water system members. We have stepped beyond a training organization to become a full service organization. Funerals ask the question of one’s eternal destiny, but they also trace the path of the deceased. Billy Frank Parnell path reflects 30 years of work in Rural Water, and we are thankful he had his hand in all our successes. On that glad reunion day when Bill stepped into heaven to meet his Savior, perhaps he also ran into a couple of other NRWA presidents, J.A. Younts and Joe Palmer. ❍ 54 • Third Quarter 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2009

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2009
Contents
From the President
Emergency Response is More Than Just a Plan
December 3, 2007: A Flood to Remember
Rural Water Experts Certified at Emergency Response Training
Wastwater System Recovery Aided by Missouri Rural Water Association
USDA's Rural Water Initiatives - A Grand Enterprise
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers
Advertisers.com
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2009

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