RR No. 3, Arthur,
Oct. 3, 1917.
My dear Mrs. Johns and family,
This afternoon's mail brought me word that the blow had fallen upon your home. My heart is full of sorrow and sympathy for you all. Your parting last fall was hard but you had a chance to hope And now the battle has been fought over again in your hearts. Earl's death has brought the war home to me more than anything yet. I didn't realize till this afternoon just how much our acquaintance meant. I think of him as I saw his a year ago on July 1st, carrying himself so well and looking so much in earnest. We all thought he looked so fine. That was the last time I saw him but I can recall him very vividly.
There is another side, his character. And the word which best describes his life is white. I think of him as pure. He was sent forward in the army quickly consequently he could not become tainted even had he been inclined that way which we know he wasn't. He has passed from this world in his purity.
We mourn for you. Your home has been broken and your home was composed of loving members. One of the members has gone before you to your new home and there he will be waiting for and watching. As you think of the years ahead of you without him it seems very hard. But we must think of Earl's happiness compared with what his life might have meant to him had he been wounded. We'll understand things better when we finish our journey thro' this life and will thank the One who had the planning of our lives.
You had reason to be proud of your boy. He enlisted with the right understanding and he fought to protect us, for justice and liberty of mankind. The world of the present and future owes him a debt for the winning or losing of this war means more than any war the world has known
Oct. 4 We thought we were prepared for this sad news but when it came to me I felt it more than I thought it possible.
All day I have been thinking of you Mrs. Johns, how you will think and think when you are alone in the house. I hope Edith is with you and that Mrs. Coltis comes often with her baby. Altho' we know all is well with Earl the hearts are very, very sore and you have the sympathy of all your acquaintances and we will ask the Great Comforter to help you in your time of sorrow.
Yours in truest sympathy
Jean M. Spence.