Ronald Reagan
February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004
Goodby Mr. President


This Hometown Boy will long be loved and remembered by the folks of Dixon Illinois, as well as people all over the world. Ronald Reagan was an ordinary boy who turned into an extraordinary man. He came from very poor and humble beginnings, growing up with small town values which gave him the character he carried throughout his lifetime. Ronald Reagan made a difference in everything he did. He was trusted and respected by all who knew him. These are not just ordinary words, but are heard over and over around the world as people remember him, and will be repeated again and again as time goes on.


The Statue, tall and bronze, sits beside the Ronald Reagan boyhood home. A tribute to the giant of a man who was our 40th President. I just happened to be on vacation at the time all this happened, so Tuesday afternoon found me standing in front of this statue, silent and numb. Even though we all knew it was and inevitable death - it still hurt.

The many gifts of Jelly Beans, Candles, Flowers, Teddy Bears, lots of flags, and a host of other things, were left as a memorial by those who loved him, and they began arriving on Saturday when the news was heard. What was most touching at the time that I was there, was a small childs printed words on a piece of construction paper. I can't remember what it said but it brought tear to my eyes.


The home is draped in mourning on this sad occassion. It was a very silent home with little to no activity in or around the building. The home was open to the public but they chose to stay near the statue. What is usually an active place, with lots of conversation between visitors, was today unusually quiet and somber. Where we often found people standing on the porch talking amongst themselves was empty today. Where there is usually laughter and animation, today found silence. The usual smiling and happy people that visit this home, today walked slowly with eyes swimming in tears.


The church where Ronald Reagan was a member and where he regularly attended for many years, was also very quiet this day. This proud old church is now showing its age. It could use some repairs and updates I suppose, but still stands in testimony to the many faithful followers who have found God here.

The Church is now standing, silent, waiting, and ready, for the service that will take place in a couple of days. This is the First United Methodist Church located at 202 South Peoria Avenue in Dixon, where it will soon say good by to Ronald Reagan as it once welcomed him in.



I wonder what it's all about, and why
We suffer so, when little things go wrong
We make our life a struggle
When life should be a song.

Our troubles break and drench us,
Like spray on the cleaving prow
Of some trim Gloucester schooner.
As it dips in a graceful bow.

Our troubles break and drench us
But like that cleaving prow,
The wind will fan and dry us
And we'll watch some other bow.

But why does sorrow drench us
When our fellow passes on?
He's just exchanged life's dreary dirge
For an eternal life of song.

What is the inborn human trait
That frowns on a life of song?
That makes us weep at the journey's end,
When the journey was oft-times wrong?

Weep when we reach the door
That opens to let us in,
And brings to us eternal peace
As it closes again on sin.

Millions have gone before us,
And millions will come behind.
So why do we curse and fight
At a fate both wise and kind.

We hang onto a jaded life
A life of sorrow and pain.
A life that warps and breaks us,
And we try to run through it again.

Written by Ronald Reagan
Dixon High School Year Book 1928
Contributed by Ora L. Flaningam whose father, Ora Wakeley Flaningam, was a classmate of Ronald Reagan


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