In an era when humanity needs a role model, R.G. LeTourneau is highly deserving of recognition. R.G. LeTourneau, a philanthropist and inventor, established his worth with unparalleled work ethics, admirable personal and working relationships, extraordinary contributions to God and the community, and faithfulness in God Almighty that flourished with each passing day. I aspire to live my life as he did; a life that merits emulation.
God’s gentle touch guided Mr. LeTourneau’s life, ranging from exacting correction to bountiful rewards, from a boy unreceptive to church into a faithful servant as a man. Kinship with his mother, brothers, and sisters, was relatively normal, without discord and tension. Common difference of opinions and conflicts with his father concerning work ethics and education culminated with R.G., as he would later be called, learning to serve is to love, defining a father’s affection.This life changing moment influenced him forever.
In 1902, fourteen year old R.G., announcing to his dad “I’m a man-grown”(p. xxx), set out on a career track learning different tradecrafts, and furthering his education which assisted him in future enterprises. With his dads aid and the supervision of an iron foundry owner, they introduced R.G. to the art of iron molding, consequently accumulating many valuable work lessons. After committing his spirit to Jesus at age sixteen, a series of unfortunate circumstances forced R.G. to frequently shift jobs, acquiring assorted skills such as bricklaying, the use of dynamite, and one that would have lasting repercussions, the welding torch. At age twenty one, recovering from an accident involving an ax, R.G. mastered auto mechanics via a correspondence course. Afterwards, traveling from San Francisco to Stockton, California, unknowing what the future held.
The following ten years blessings and optimism, intertwined with tragedy and sufferings, began when R.G. partnered with a friend opening a mechanics garage. After involvement in a vehicle accident resulting in a broken neck, R.G. continued self-educating, studying electrical engineering and acetylene welding, simultaneously meeting his future wife, Evelyn. The winter of 1918 brought the unfortunate death of his first born child and a failing business, leading to an inevitable meeting with God, consequently, realizing a Father’s love. Recognizing the error of his ways, R.G....