Posted in General at 12:16 pm by Karyn

If you have a photograph of Al and would like to share it (with a brief description of the photo), please email it here. We will format the photos and post as many as we can on the blog (so keep checking back to see new additions).

Linda Foh passes on this photo: “That famous dance team “Longman, Groves & Dillard”, representing the WTS O.T. Dept., entertained at Fun Night in November 1982.” (The infamous Tiqtol through the Tulips… or was it Yiqtol through the Tiqtols… but in any case, the rendition was surely better than even Tiny Tim‘s own forTiptoe through the Tulips.)

Joe Troutman sends this photo, “This was taken on 1/31/07 at Al and Libbie’s home. We enjoyed a wonderful visit, and Al, always the pastor, took the time to pray for Elisabeth, Jennifer and me.”

Joe & Bev Fitzpatrick: “This is a photo of the last time we saw Al in May. We were in town briefly, stopping by for a “quick” hello at 7pm and Al offered to help Joe with a
computer problem. Hours later, long after we felt we had worn out our welcome (with 3 kids along), Al continued to problem-solve with his wonderful patience and persistence.”

George Kong: “This is photo of our two families when the Groves visited us in Idaho during the summer of 2001.”

Nina McRobbie sends this photo taken for part of the WTS Talent Show 2005, “Al with Doug Green and Karyn Traphagen…ever a good sport, his only instruction was to ‘scream real loud.’ ”

Susan sends this photo of Al with Josephine Dru, who is now in doctoral studies at Notre Dame.

Al was often seen with students, and graduation was no different…
Al and Christian Cryder (now planting a church in Missoula, MT).
Al, Liz Hager, and Mel Moore.


  1. Elaine Burkhart said,

    February 7, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Libby & family,

    I have just received word of Al’s homegoing on Mon., from Kathy Woodard, at Covenant Theol. Sem., a very long-time friend. I do not have your address, but did want to let you know that my love & prayers are with you & the family. He, Harold, Lisa, & all the saints they knew, are now enjoying the fruits together, before the throne of our beloved God.

    I have sent out the word to all in my e-mail address bk. who knew or may have known Al. Before my move to Clayton, Ga., in Oct., 2005, I had met w/Bill Johnson, twice, & on the last visit, I had given him all the photos I had discovered, but had no time to sort through, prior to my move, as my energy level in undergoing radiation for breast cancer, had limited my sorting & packing time. I do remember that there were pictures of you. I am sure that Bill has not had time to do any sorting of the pictures, either, but wanted you to know.

    If ever in my area, my welcome mat is waiting.

    In Our Savior’s Name,

  2. Bob Lourie WTS '88 said,

    February 7, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    May he rest in peace.
    I loved Al.
    I had him for Hebrew and he made it fun, especially for us Boston Celtic fans.
    He is one of the professors I had at WTS that I think of first when I think of my time at WTS. Kind, generous, witty, compassionate.
    The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
    May God’s mercy and peace surround and overwhelm your whole family.

  3. Henk Harmsen said,

    February 7, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Dear family of my beloved friend Al,

    It is not a photo but a song I would like to share with you. I have a warm memory of Al. We had (at least) two things we could share with each other : hebrew and my songs. Thanks to Al, who always emphasized on how important it is to explore your gifts, I started again writing songs. Not pop-songs (like ‘His ghost goes round’), but religious songs which are now sung in my liberal religious community in Veenendaal in The Netherlands.

    Luckily I could share some songs with Al the last time I have seen him in Holland, when he visited me at my work. He was as enthusiastic as always. Sad enough he might never have heard my most religious song ‘God be in my head’. The lyrics come from a 16th century poem.

    I played the song these days a lot. And I cry a lot. I hear Al say how he loves this song.

    Thank you Al for everything. For your help with the English in my dissertation, for the warm friendship for almost 20 years. Thanks to God for this wonderful person.

    I wish to you, his dearest people, all the strength, the faith and the love that you will need.


    Henk Harmsen

  4. Becky Wilson said,

    February 8, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Truly, pictures are worth a thousand words. How grateful I am for the provision of these photos and their captions! I find myself smiling back, as I take in every detail.

  5. The Hackenberger Family said,

    February 8, 2007 at 10:21 am

    When I close my eyes, I see a myriad of “mental snapshots” of Al through the years. Interestingly enough, in each of those snapshots, he is not alone in one! He is always surrounded: by family, friends, colleagues, the Church Body, from the very young to the very old. He is, in these snapshots, captured listening intently, laughing heartily, interacting enthusiastically, engaged personally, serving humbly, and worshiping wholly.
    A picture speaks a thousand words, and Al’s life, touching hundreds (thousands?) of people from all over the world, leaves a multitude of mental pictures with each one of us. Each mental picture voluminously speaking, “joy, peace, patience, gentleness, hope, love, perseverance, meekness, humility, and fun!” and radiating his love for his Savior, and the Joy set before him.
    All the pictures, put together in one album, could be titled, “YES! The Glory of the Cross!”
    The mental snapshots we all hold dear of Al, of the whole Groves’ family, will, as fruit of the Spirit, continue to speak for generations to come.

    Our prayers continue to be with you because we hold you in our hearts,
    The Hackenberger Family

  6. Chris Fisher said,

    February 8, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Libbie, I’m so loving to see the pictures of Al and you all, and hearing his voice teaching Ps. 138. I am missing him so especially when on the 3rd floor today, standing there and conjuring up my own pictures of wonderful memories of the two years you and Al were here @ 515.
    You and the children will in time be able to recall wonderful stories you all shared and even laugh together (and Al will laugh with you) You and he have touched so many lives, reading the comments (I’ve printed the blog) has been a great inspiration.
    Love and continued prayers for strength and comfort,

  7. Lyn Newbrander said,

    February 10, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Dear Libbie,

    I wish I had some picture to share, but how well I remember sharing our apartment and friends in Amsterdam with you all. As I heard “God be in my head,” I was so moved by the influence Al had on Henk. You have touched lives wherever you have been. May the same be said of all of us–that people have experienced Jesus by experiencing us.

    Surely God is delighting in Al as thoroughly as Al is delighting in Him at this moment. We can only envy. May God continue to strengthen you in the coming days as you adjust to Al’s new home. Thank you for sharing your lives with us here in Berlin. We will be following the memorial service here from afar.

    With love from Tim and Lyn

  8. Ron said,

    February 11, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    On Dan’s blog, there’s a photo of Al talking about Isaiah at the New Life Elders’ Christmas Party (2006). I’ve sent a note to the photographer about submitting it to this “Memories” collection.


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