It amazes me how little Gary knows about his Dad's family. He can report his paternal grandmother was diabetic, both grandparents were 100% German, and all Lutheran.
And sadly, Gary's Uncle Gene has died. Uncle Gene was married to Gary's aunt Bernice, Ken's sister. This is definite. Gary HAS an Aunt Bernice. He HAD an Uncle Gene by marriage. And Ken IS his Dad. From there, things get fuzzy.
So Gary came in and said, "Well, that's sad. Karen says our Uncle Gene died."
I asked, "Is there a funeral?"
"No," Gary said, "He's Mormon and they don't believe in funerals."
I paused a moment, of course, and moved my mouth to see which of the many comments and questions would pop out first. Of course, what popped out was:
"Funeral Potatoes. There's a recipe. Mormons serve it at funerals."
"Hey, you're right!" Gary said.
"And, excuse me, did you say ... Mormon?"
"Yeah! Karen said she was shocked. She had no idea."
Again, so many comments, so little room in my mouth. I ended up saying:
"MOR-mon. You don't maybe mean ... Methodist?"
"No, they even sent his ashes back to ... that big Mormon place."
"That place in Utah."
"First, Salt Lake City? And second, MORMON?"
"Hey, I'm as shocked as you are. Mormon! Well, I knew Uncle Gene was a really nice man."
"Was your Aunt Bernice Mormon too?"
"No! Dad's family were all Lutherans."
"So, Uncle Gene was a Jack Mormon, one of those so-called 'bad' Mormons."
"Oh, no. He was a minister." (Pause of slow and horrifying revelation.) "...I guess he was a Mormon minister."
Sigh. "Okay. First. She converted because you don't have Mormon ministers with Lutheran wives. Second. He was a MORMON MINISTER and you just now LEARNED about this?"
"Well, maybe I have another aunt with a minister husband. I don't know!"
"Maybe? Seriously, maybe? How can you not know how many sisters you dad has?"
"My dad just doesn't talk about his family, not like my Mom. Wait. Bernice is the one who has a kid. She's my cousin. She's a missionary."
"No! A MORMON missionary? There's a shocker."
So, having pretty well determined that the dearly departed Uncle Gene ("Are you sure his name was really Gene?") is an LDS minister, we started to think what that might mean.
1) We have had Mormons praying for us, since we are blood relations of Mormons.
2) We have abandoned many potential Mormon baby souls in heaven.
3) This explains why I was successful making the Funeral Potatoes on my first try.
4) This explains why Uncle Gene's pants always kind of seemed extra lumpy.