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March 20, 2009



Just a couple days ago we received an email about Nate's death. Our hearts go out to you and Sue. I remember praying for Nate in our small group at CBS, at the picnic table shaded by eucalyptus... All those things we prayed for (deliverance, healing, clear spiritual vision, strength and joy in Christ) are now answered, in trumps! But this wasn't exactly what I had in mind as I prayed.

Grace and strength to all you Mansfields as you press on, not aimlessly, but toward the goal for which God has called us all heavenward, in Christ Jesus.

Hope to see you this summer on Catalina.

Big love,
Nic, Kathryn & the rest of us Nelsons

Dennis Mansfield

My fellow E-2 Dog,

Thanks for your comment and your kindness. When we were together at West Point, lo those many years ago, neither of us thought of who our kids would be...it wasn't even in our thinking patterns. Leaving the Academy and going on with life may have initiated the wife-children-future train of thought...

But still, no one thinks of WHO their children will be...we just all think in terms of a sort-of nebulous cloud of " someone, sometime" - who just may occupy our lives as babies.

But Nate was my first baby, my first son. He was real and he was specific. Theory and nebulous clouds no longer obscurred my vision.

And I loved him in all his pain and all his difficulty. USMA prepared me for tough times; the toughest of times was Nate's drug daze. And boy, did he love his trips to West Point with me.

E-2 Dogs...yeah. I thank God for that foundation. So did Nate.


Dennis Mansfield

Thank you, Jack.

How precious it was to read your comments. You have known me for a long time...and I've always appreciated the kindness that you extended to me, though I was not always willing (and maybe even, able) to always reciprocate in like fashion. Please forgive my insensitivity, whenever that happened in the past.

Thank you for loving me and caring for my family, Jack.


Jack Van Valkenburgh

Reading your words, and those of others, about Nate give me a sense of him: a caring and fun young man, a son loved my his family, who returned that love -- and shared it with others.
Best wishes to you and your family,
Jack Van Valkenburgh


Dennis and Family

I've not visited this site in some time, so I was shocked to read of your family tragedy. Please accept my condolescences!

E-2 Dog

Jim Dalos Jr.

Dennis, Family - you all did an Excellent job. As I was Leaving Boise, to come home I saw 4 Kids, They looked like high school kids. I wish they where there to hear the testimony. Also on the way home on the freeway I had a car pass me it had "Awsome God" as a License Plate, I think that described my Experenice in Boise . Love in Christ Jim

David Shifflett

To the Entire Mansfield family,
I just want to thank each and every one of you for allowing myself and my wife as well as grandpa mac to share in the wonderful demonstration of what can only be described as the great works of god not just in one person but in a entire family. I also want to say you are all truly a wonderful family. I learned allot about true faith. And through all of you i saw gods word become not just absolute truth in words. But alive and doing well even in a time that was very difficult for you all. When i got home last night i prayed for you all as well as my usual prayers. I wanted to find some scripture i could give you to explain what i witneesed at the celebration. And i found what i was looking for to help me and to encourage you in the book 2nd Corinthians Chapter 1 versus 3 thru 7. Please read them and i encourage all to not just read these scriptures but the whole bible. Once again i thank you all. And i know for a fact as a recovering addict and a beliver from seeing how all of you worked through this troubling and sorrowful time with Christ. I can do it too. I love you all and May God Bless You all. I didnt say goodbye to Nate i prayed for him to save me a seat near him on the sofa.
Yours in Christ
David Shifflett

Tony Ball

Dennis My Brother,

I have never been so moved at a funeral as I was today. The prayers of so many were answered as our Lord totally anointed the service, gave supernatural peace and strength to you, Susan and your family, and glorified His name before a multitude.
I have been full of emotion all day and feel that God wants to use this experience in my life in a special way. The amazing thing is that I never had the privilege of meeting Nate in person, yet he is impacting my life in a very deep way.
Thank you for being so transparent. I love you and your family so much. I will pick up the above image from my gifted sister Robin on Saturday from the printer and get it over to you.

Lastly, I have had a song stuck in my head tonight. I can never remember all the words to a song, but it warranted further research.
Thanks to google, I will share them with you. They seem so appropriate:

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin?for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Look all around, there’s nothin?but blue skies
Look straight ahead, nothin?but blue skies

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Shannon Kaiser

This is beautiful. Simply beautiful. I have thought of you, Sue, Meg, and Colin all day and wish so badly that I could be with all of you right now. It is awe inspiring to see how God has shown through your grief. Thank you for sharing this time with those of us who couldn't be there through this website. I love you all dearly and cry for the pain that I know each of you are feeling. But I am also very reassured that I will see Nate again, even though was rarely able to see him in this life. I wish I had known him. He sounds like someone I would've wanted to...

Love always,

Cory Hemmer

Dear Dennis, Susan and family,

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. The funeral this morining was beautifully done and was a fitting tribute to a life cut too short. I lost contact with Nate in recent years but i will always cherish the time we spent together. Nate was such a big part of my life in elementary and junior high and i have so many fond memories of him. Spending the night on your trampoline, going paintballing in the woods and i will never forget the bike ride up to table rock when the lightning came and it started to hail on us!...the list could go on and on. Just being around Nate was all it took to put a big smile on my face. Those were some of the happiest times of my life. When my best friend Bryan passed away in 2001 Nate was the first person to call and console me and i will never forget that. He was so caring and had such a big heart. I am so blessed to have had a friend like Nate.

Nate, I will miss you greatly, but i know you are at peace now with the Lord. I love you my friend and you will always be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all of those wonderful memories. I will never forget you and I look forward to seeing you again in Heaven.

May God bless you and your family in all you do!

With Love,

Cory Hemmer

Dennis Huntting

Behind every great man is an even greater woman!


God has smiled on both you and I ! Today, I saw a woman stand on the stage at her son's funeral that I have grown to love more and more as I witness her inner strength. What a woman of God you have by your side!

You and I have told each other over this past couple of years, " there are NO accidents", and like Ken Holsinger, I can't wait to see what God creates from this ONE day, on our journey to eternity.

You are not alone brother!

Dennis Huntting

Tom Rasmussen


The memorial service was beautiful, honoring, honest, heart wrenching, but most of all hopeful. My heart hurts with you as a father and I share in hope with you as a brother. Meagan's tribute was brilliant as she held the same tension of grief and hope as perhaps only a sister could.

It has been years since we have conversed or really worked together, but those years seemed to matter little as I was privileged to weep with you and witness you and your family living the gospel out loud.

Your family is a living example of the fullness of the Gospel.

Blessings, Peace, and Comfort in the Name of Jesus.

Ken Holsinger


This is one of the most well written and beautiful tributes I have ever read! I am deeply moved.

I am privileged to have shared in part of that last time that you spent with Nate in Branson, MO. It was an honor to have had an opportunity to meet Nate and say goodbye to him all at once. I will never forget Nate's thoughtful and hilarious spiritual insights from "Knocked Up" and "40 Year-Old Virgin".

I look forward to sharing his wonderful simple theology with my own kids and we will be "sending sofa's ahead" in Nate's memory! I can't wait to help you channel your grief because the man I am only getting to know and admire usually does great big "God-Sized" things and I want to be along for that ride!

Our thoughts, love and prayers are with you and your family today.

Ken Holsinger

PS I still want to start the theology in movies review blog :-)

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