FINDING YOUR GIFT
You know how people are always telling you to “use your gifts?” And you always end up thinking you would, if they would just tell you what those gifts are? Well, Dave is a man who has found that his unique gifts exactly match the needs of both his church and community.
Dave comes from a family tradition of service and hard work. His paternal grandfather was a missionary pastor who was responsible for establishing churches in the Midwest. Dave’s father, James, was pastor of Cedar Heights Community Presbyterian Church from 1924 -1936.
Unfortunately, Dave’s father passed away when Dave was 7. He says the formative elements of his childhood include his father’s early death and his mother’s struggle to make a living and keep the family together. Dave is the third of four children. He says his mother worked hard all her life, not only to support the family, but also to make sure Dave and his siblings grew up in the church and followed the teachings of Christ.
Dave’s mother passed away two weeks before his high school graduation. He and his younger sister went to live with his brother Jim in Buffalo, and worked there, taking an engineering course at Buffalo Tech. When there was no longer work available for him, Jim suggested Dave go back to Iowa and “see what Deere’s is doing.”
This proved to be a life-changing choice. He was hired at Deere’s as a clerk and draftsman in 1949. Because of his expertise, he moved up to architectural draftsman.
Dave was transferred to Moline, where he stayed for 16 years. There, he helped to build all the new buildings.
In 1974, he moved back to Waterloo, where he joined a new department, Energy Management. In 1984, Dave retired. He says that the accountant at Deere’s estimated he and his department saved the company 94 million dollars in energy costs over the years.
Dave says he continued going to CHPC every Sunday “because that’s what you do on Sunday.”
His wife, Jackie, and her family were already members of CHPC. The couple were married there in August, 1957. Their two sons were baptized and grew up in the church.
Dave served on Session, where he chaired the Building and Grounds Committee. During this time, he helped dismantle the Montessori classroom, built what is currently the Youth Room, and helped build the classrooms in their current form.
He sang in the choir, with Jackie, for 25 years. After he retired from the choir, he found a spot in the church where he could watch her every Sunday. which he did until her death in 2003. He still sits there every week.
His real involvement with the church began, Dave says, when he joined the Retired Mens’ Group in 1984. In 1992, he began helping at Sartori Hospital, changing light bulbs and doing other “handyman” type jobs. This fit perfectly with his long experience as an engineer at Deere’s. He enjoyed the fellowship of the other men as much as the work, he says.
In December, 2003, Dave began volunteer work at Covenant Hospital. Now 85, he continues his work there, as well as his weekly church attendance. He says he especially enjoys participating in “Over the Coffee” each week. He relishes the lively discussion, and says that this group brings laughter into his life, every Sunday.
At Covenant Hospital, Dave purges old medical records. His goal, he says, is to volunteer 25,000 hours at the hospital. Currently, he will reach this goal the first week in June, 2015.
Dave Laurie is a man who continues, daily, to do what many of us only intend to do. He uses his unique talents and experience to improve the day-to-day functioning of his church and community.