Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Teacher

Never rich—well not in the ways of the world—he was rich with words. He could mold them and weave a story that would captivate and teach at the same time. You would walk away never knowing that you had learned a lesson you would use later in life.

I find myself often starting a story with, “Well, my Dad once told me…” A kind friend said I should write the stories down—so I do, and I will. This story is rather simple, but it’s a story of redemption; of love; of looking to Christ.

A young boy full of angst is sent out of the classroom for disruptive behavior. He lay on the floor outside the classroom counting the tiles on the ceiling and wishing he was somewhere else. Anywhere else. The class breaks for lunch and his classmates run all around him, but he still lies there, unmoved. Out of the corner of his eye he sees his teacher. He braces himself for another lecture but instead he is greeted with warm hands cupping his face and a heartfelt smile. She looks into his eyes and sees in them his true potential. She said one simple phrase that forever changed his life, “Joe, you are better than this.”

And he believed it.

He would become a teacher to thousands of would-be teachers. His love for children and their pure innocence would guide his discourses. They all shared the similar refrain. “Be kind to them, be gentle. For they need to know you see their true potential”.

He was always a teacher to his children. His lectures and stories would all have the same theme, “Look to Christ and live. He knows your true potential. He knows who you are and what you can become. You are better and more amazing than anything you can imagine. You are better than this”.

His children re-tell his stories because we believe it, too.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Joseph Raynes Funeral Information

Thank you everyone for your amazing outpouring of love and support. We have truly felt buoyed by all of your prayers and love.

Here is the information for Dad's funeral:
Public viewings will be held on Friday, January 14, 2011, at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home (646 E 800 N, Orem) from 6-8pm; and on Saturday, January 15, at the Orem Utah Cascade Stake Center (481 E Center St, Orem) from 11am-12:30pm.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 15, at the Orem Utah Cascade Stake Center (481 E Center St, Orem) starting at 1pm.

Interment will be at the Orem City Cemetery (1520 N 800 E) directly following the service.

Click here for the Deseret News obituary.
Click here for the Daily Herald obituary.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beloved Husband, Father, Son, Brother.

Joseph Lincoln Raynes PhD, age 64, passed away peacefully January 10, 2011, surrounded by his eternal family, after a battle with brain cancer.

He was born June 21, 1946, in Provo, Utah to Beth Milner and Lincoln Frances Raynes; he was the second of eight children. Much of his childhood was spent on the Oregon Coast. While at BYU, Joe met his beautiful wife Alice Nielsen in a laundromat and it was love at first sight. Their first conversation began with his joke about both having red hair. They married in the Salt Lake Temple on May 27, 1969. They have ten children, all redheaded. It was impossible to be around Joe and not know he loved his family, the Gospel, and serving others.

Joseph completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees at BYU and earned his PhD at Texas A&M University. He served and inspired others throughout his lifelong career in Education. He was an Elementary School Teacher, Principal at Joaquin Elementary, Dean of Continuing Education, Dean of Trades and Technology, and Associate Academic Vice President at Utah Valley State College. He was instrumental in bringing the Education Program to the now Utah Valley University. He loved being a Professor of Education. His influence is carried through the countless teachers he molded.

Traveling the world extensively, Joe was always in search of opportunities to serve others. Fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish, he lived in Bolivia and traveled throughout South America with his young family while working with the Bolivian government. He lived in Colonia Juarez, Mexico working with the Juarez Stake Academy, and traveled to Mongolia to develop their higher education programs during their transition from Communism. He was a gifted storyteller who weaved his life experiences into tales that both entertained and edified.

He was a dedicated servant of the Lord, who served an honorable LDS mission in the Brazil North Mission. He labored as Branch President at the MTC, Bishop of Cascade 2nd Ward, High Council Member in Orem Cascade Stake, Ordinance Worker in the Mount Timpanogos Temple, and a member of the Curriculum Resource Committee. A gifted teacher of life and salvation, he lived to bring action to the Gospel’s precepts.

Joe was a builder of homes, ideas, and lives. A gentle giant, who was steadfast, thoughtful, humble, and strong; he spent his life in quiet service. His greatness was shown by his Christ-like love, the warmth of his smile, the power of his patience, the richness of his intelligence, his ability and desire to teach even the hardest of hearts, his comedic timing, and his gift to uplift others through his faith, stories, and unconditional love. His love of the Savior showed in everything he did.

He is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Alice Nielsen Raynes, and their ten children: Janelle (Nathan) Gerber, Michelle, Denise (Paul) Pitcher, Alison (Marshall) Smith, Melanee, Stefanie (Nate) Farnsworth, Jonathan (Daniela), Danielle (Bryan) Kennedy, Derrick (Alexa), David (Sydney), and their 17 grandchildren. He is also survived by his father and five sisters.

We will post details for the viewing and the funeral soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Post Cranny

The nurses call brain surgeries "crannies" or "cranny" in the singular form. Dad had his fifth today and everything went well. They placed 11 chemo wafers in the tumor cavity and those should last around 6 weeks. We hope this chemo works better than the last. Dad is luckily back in his room and not in ICU. He has been in some pain, which is expected with surgery, and sleeps a lot. We're glad he sleeps, he's recovering well. We hope to bring him home soon.

Thank you all for your prayers.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Emergency Surgery and Update

Dad had another headache that would not go away, so he went in for a scan. They found some bleeding in his brain, and another tumor, so they set him up for emergency surgery. The surgery went well and he is now resting in the ICU. Miracles are happening again! They said that he would lose vision in his left eye and motor function on his left side, but only hours after surgery, he had not lost any of his eye sight or his motor functioning!

I got an email from Danielle explaining his recovery. I'll post it here and you can here it from her!

"Here is the latest update on Dad. This morning he was looking so much better than yesterday! His swelling has gone down dramatically, even though there is still some. They are still draining fluid, and that could be for a little while longer. The doctors came in and took out one of the pumps, and let him sit up and eat solid foods. He also got up and walked around a bit! The best news though, is that he hasn't lost any of his vision in his left eye like they told us he would, and even though his left side of his body is a little weaker than the right, he has full function!! So he is mending!!

The doctors told us that we are figuring out what is going on with his blood first before we make any other plans for the cancer treatments. The plan is to have him heal up from his surgeries and then we'll figure out the next steps. But remember, he is doing much better than the doctors were expecting!

He was also unblinded from the study. He found out that he was taking the placebo, not the Avastin which could be a blessing itself because the Avastin can cause bleeding so it might have made all this even worse. We are seeing miracles and good things happening so keep up all that praying! It's working!!

Love to all,

Monday, August 30, 2010


Sorry for the delay in updating the blog. We’ll do better from here…promise.

Dad and Mom went on an awesome trip the last week of July funded by an anonymous donor. If you’re reading this, Mr. Anonymous, THANK YOU! They had the best time. They came out to visit ME in Florida! It felt like Christmas having them here all to myself. They also went on a cruise and had an amazing time. They said they didn’t even think about the cancer the whole time they were on the ship, they just relaxed and enjoyed their time together.

On August 3rd, Dad started radiation and Temodar (chemo). He goes to radiation 5 times a week Monday-Friday, and as I type this he only has two weeks left! He also takes his chemo medicine everyday. As their insurance is not paying for the chemo, we thought they would have to pay out-of-pocket the 10,000 a month price tag, but the Commitment To Care Foundation, thanks to many prayers, is providing the chemo free of charge. We are SO GRATEFUL. It is truly a miracle.

The radiation makes Dad tired, but he is starting to feel better as he gets off the Decadron. The Decadron also gave him some diabetes issues, but he will hopefully get off insulin soon. He is also starting to lose his hair, but he looks cool bald. The doctor found some blood clots in his legs, so he also now gets two injections a day for that. My dad, the walking pin-cushion.

Good news! Dad starts the study on September 8th. The study is an experimental drug that has shown amazing results. It is a miracle that he got into it and we are so happy! He will get a 90-minute infusion the first day, then in 2 weeks, a 60-minute infusion, then in two weeks a 30-minutes infusion. If he handles those well, he will continue on the 30-minute.

All in all, Dad is doing well. He is the toughest man alive. Please keep him in your prayers. He is so grateful for all the prayers and help so far. Thank you!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Dad, My Hero

My dad's the ultimate hero.
He's a man's man with a sensitive heart.
He's humble with the brain of a genius.
He works tirelessly to make everyone's life better.
He's a spiritual giant that teaches me about Christ by example.
He taught me about love by his always adoring love for my mom.
He taught me about life by living it to the fullest.

By Stefanie