William David Self died on March 7, 2016, after a long, courageous battle with cancer. With his wife Jo by his side, Dave spent many months away from home receiving chemotherapy treatments in Arkansas and New York. Even though Jo and Dave were many miles away for long periods of time, they were always in our thoughts and prayers. The Discoverers Sunday School class, in particular, offered them comfort and spiritual support.
It is also true that IPC was always in Jo and Dave’s thoughts and prayers, too. Well over a year before he died, Dave started making plans to establish the Dave and Jo Self Fund with a beneficiary gift from his will. The purpose of the Fund is “to provide financial support for local programs sponsored or supported by the Community Ministries Department of Independent Presbyterian Church, such as the food pantry and educational programs for under-privileged children.” The purpose, stated in such simplicity, hardly conveys the possibilities which lay ahead for the adults and children who will benefit from this gift and for the Foundation as it helps this gift grow.
One needs only to open Dave’s Bible to gain insight into his faith and service. Among the Bible passages marked as his favorites were: “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26), “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself” (from Mark 12:29-31), and “love one another…..by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Mark 13:34-35).
In 2009, Dave wrote a Christmas letter to his family about “things I believe in.” The last category was about success. The last entry was “Success is found in being happy and loving yourself, but loving others more.” While Dave was by all measure a successful man in business, he was even more successful at living, serving and loving his God and his neighbor. Through the generosity of Dave and Jo Self, our neighbors will be blessed.