My 102 year old mother's trip to heaven and back on Sept 9.

Winifred Garlow, at age 102 and 3 months, her last picture, taken on
September 1, 2023 at the funeral of her son-in-law, Keat Wade.
This is a final tribute to my 102 year old mother – Winifred Jane McHenry Garlow – who graduated to heaven on September 14. Below you can listen to her experience of going almost into heaven, of dying, and coming back to earth on Saturday, September 9, before she permanently moved to heaven on the following Thursday at 6:40pm.
On Saturday, September 9 at approximately 10:45am Pacific Time, my daughter Josie Facetimed us – we were in Arkansas at the time – saying, “Dad, I think Grandma is going. You better say your goodbyes now.” Through tears, I told her I loved her and goodbye. As I was talking to her, we saw her eyes close, and her head drop. We saw her die! Moments later, Josie called and said, “She is unresponsive.” However, 20 minutes later as the ambulance took her from Urgent Care to the Emergency Room, she revived. She had died, but she returned.

What she experienced during those moments brought her enormous joy and comfort in the next five days before she finally “crossed over.” Here is my Mother’s stunning report of her visit to the “curtain” – or the veil – of heaven. She did not quite go in, but she saw it. Even though she was very weak on her death bed, a smile came to her face every time she began telling us about what she saw.
But first, here is a scrolling eulogy of her remarkable life, the 102 years from 1921 to 2023. (NOTE: We want to say a special thank you to Debbie Augustine and Joshua Garlow who helped prepare so many of the items for the Memorial Services.)
Here is a video overview of her life, with pictures of her husband (who graduated to heaven in 1998), her daughter Janie (who died when she was not quite yet 11 months old in 1942), of her daughter Judy (of the World Prayer Network), her son Jim (that’s me), her twin sons Bob and Bill. (Bob died in a plane crash in 1974 at age 19, along with our first cousin Rick Crouch and Bob’s college roommate Dave McKenzie, while traveling in a singing group from Mid American Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas.)
The goal of this newsletter is to get us to look forward to heaven much more. We need to have an eternal perspective. We are profoundly “this-world focused.” My co-author Keith Wall and I wrote two books on heaven which our publisher later combined into one book, a nearly 500 page book. The table of contents for the 2nd book begins on page 253. We interviewed many people who had “crossed over,” experienced a NDE (near death experience), saw into the afterlife, and came back to report on it. In addition, we cover the topics of heaven, hell, angels, demons, ghosts, reincarnation, purgatory and universalism from a Biblical perspective. This is a “handbook on heaven.”

 It is available for a donation to Well Versed of any amount. But we would like to give you an incentive to get more than one book. We would like to send you three signed, autographed books for every $100 you are able to donate to Well Versed. So if you donate $200, that would be six books. Fifteen books will be sent to you for a donation of $500. A donation of $1,000 would mean that 30 books would be sent to you.

Please go to:

This offer is good for the month of October.

As a child, I remember my mother memorizing Scripture. In her last hours on this earth, I read portions of Revelation 21 to her. She quoted the Scripture with me as I read. She was inspired, in part, to memorize Revelation 21 due to the presentation of “Jerusalem, the Golden” by the Miltonvale Wesleyan College (now Oklahoma Wesleyan University) Choir, back in 1962, with college student Eleanor Barnes reciting by memory much of Revelation 21 and part of Revelation 22 in concerts. (Note: Eleanor, from Lynch, Nebraska, died of diabetes, at only 21 years of age, only days after finishing a choir tour across Midwestern states where she repeatedly quoted this passage.) Those who listened to Eleanor were moved beyond description. Some reported that each time she recited the Scriptures, it was as if she was seeing into heaven. No one suspected that she would soon go there. Listen to 21 year old Eleanor Barnes from this 1962 recording (the first 40 seconds are hard to understand), which so impacted our family at the time.
While growing up on our Kansas farm, our family sang, traveled and did 500 concerts in 9 states over an 8 ½ year span, beginning when my bothers were nine years of age. My Mother sang the solo on one song, “The King is Coming.” Listen to her sing it with our family 50 years ago, and then sing it once again, this time from her deathbed.
And during one of my Mother’s final days, she quoted John 14:1-3. She wanted everyone to come to heaven with her. Listen to John 14:1-3 above.
The Memorial Service at Skyline Church, San Diego, California (Sept 21) began with thirty minutes of the viewing of the body, with piano music. You can skip that part, or you can enjoy the remarkable piano artistry of Merry Falduti for that first half hour. If you want to watch the entire California service, you can view it above.
The Kansas service (Sept 24) – in Concordia, Kansas, near our farm - is a bit more challenging in both audio and video, but you can view it above.
While at the Walnut Grove Cemetery, which is on a hill overlooking our farm, my high school and college buddies sang some of my parent's favorite hymns.
"How Firm a Foundation"
"What a Day That Will Be"
"How Great Thou Art"
"Victory in Jesus"
(My Nieces joined in For a Spontaneous Song)
Although we were classmates in the 1960’s, every time we are together, we still sing even –
as we are here – in the kitchen.
"Amazing Grace"
If you want to participate in a Memorial Offering to Winifred Garlow, you can give Memorial Bibles through the Gideon organization, by going to or you can invest in Well Versed ministry to children, youth and young adults by donating to the “Winifred Garlow Memorial Well Versed Next Generation Fund at
We are so very grateful for your gracious support and encouragement during this season in which Judy Garlow Wade’s husband, Keat Wade, died (August 27) …and our mother – Winifred Garlow – passed away (September 14). We so appreciate you.
We invite you to become a monthly financial partner now

No Comments





no categories