Crosses made in HL remind youth across the country of God’s gift

September 15, 2008

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

Floyd Munson of Howard Lake keeps adding to his long list of lifes accomplishments he’s achieved during his 94 years on this earth.

Munson is not only the co-founder of Munson Feeds in Howard Lake, but also had his own musical group called the Floyd Munson Orchestra, and now has the honor and satisfaction of knowing that his handmade, wooden crosses are in the hands of youth in every state across the country.

It all started when Munson’s lifelong hobby of woodworking took on a spiritual twist as he was transitioning from making larger items such as grandfather clocks and coffee tables, to smaller items that were easier to work with.

“I’m kind of slowing down,” Munson laughed. “It’s getting hard for me to make bigger things.”

Many years ago, Munson and his wife of 74 years, Lillian, were shopping in Minneapolis at a Christian book store. The couple found a cross at the store that they really liked, but instead of buying it, Munson knew he could make it himself.

That inspiration led to Munson making crosses for each of his six children, 15 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren – and it didn’t stop there.

Additionally, crosses were made for and given to other relatives, friends, Bible study groups, and donated to an annual fundraiser at his church, First Presbyterian of Howard Lake.

Last April, after several years of making and giving away crosses, Munson started thinking about all of the different states that he knew his crosses had taken up residence.

He asked his son Bob if he thought the crosses had made it to each of the 50 states. His son replied, “It might be close, but let’s be sure.”

Bob and Floyd came up with a plan that entailed Floyd making 50 crosses, and Bob searching the Internet for 50, preferably small, Presbyterian parishes across the country. A short letter was composed, each one signed by Floyd, and included in the mailer with the cross.

The letter gave a little background about Floyd, and requested that the cross would be given to a youth in the parish to remind them “of the great gift the Lord gave all of us when He sent his Son to earth to save us and give us eternal life.”

Early this past summer, the crosses were mailed. It took about one week to get all the crosses mailed out, and within a week, Munson was already receiving thank you notes from the parishes and recipients.

“It was kind of exciting when I got the first letter, and it was from far away,” Munson said.

More than 20 thank-yous have been received so far from states like Arizona and California, many including pictures of the youth holding the crosses. Munson even was mailed a newsletter that featured a story about his gift to the local youth.

“Yep, I even made it in a newsletter,” Munson said.

He’s even been asked to mail a second cross to a parish as a gift for another youth.

Many may know that Munson still leads the sing-along at the care center in Howard Lake every Tuesday morning.

As for a second batch of crosses sent to all 50 states, Munson said, “At my age, I’m just looking forward to my next birthday,” which was Saturday.

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