97-Year-Old Lies in Hospital Bed Singing 'How Great Thou Art' for One of Last Times


“How Great Thou Art” is a powerful and beautiful hymn. The task of trying to capture the fullness of God’s glory can be quite challenging.

This classic hymn is one that comes about as close as we humanly can get to describing the vast goodness of God. It rarely fails to bring tears to my eyes when I find myself singing it.

I didn’t think it was possible for the hymn to be more moving and emotional until I witnessed Robert Earl “Bob” Walters singing it.

It’s one thing to sing about how great God is when life seems to be going well. But will you still be singing “How Great Thou Art” from your hospital bed as you’re dying? Walters certainly was.

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Melissa Walters Moss posted the video of her 97-year-old Grandpa Walters singing on a Thursday evening at Ohio Health Mansfield Hospital. He was singing the great hymn as he was surrounded by friends and family.

Wisdom, peace, and faith were clear in Walters’ voice. It was clear that he truly believed every word he sang.

On Jan. 12, Moss shared an update. Her grandpa passed away in the early morning on Friday after singing that evening.

“I captured the sweetest moment when they were singing a hymn together, just listen to his sweet voice praising Jesus.

This morning my precious grandpa got to meet Jesus face to face as he peacefully went home to be with Him, uncle Rick by his side,” Moss wrote.

One of the last songs Walters sang was “How Great Thou Art.” I hope I am singing an equally God-glorifying song before death.


The video of Walter singing the hymn in his hospital bed was shared on the Love What Matters Facebook page.

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Many people shared stories about their own memories of singing the hymn with loved ones both in sickness and in health.

Kirsten Thompson shared that her family sang the hymn around her grandpa’s hospital bed just before he passed away.

“Oh wow…this is what we sang around my grandpa’s hospital bed,” she wrote. “My oldest daughter was 4 years old (now 8 yrs old) and she still calls it ‘great grandpa’s song.'”

“This is why we should still sing hymns at church…they connect generations together,” she finished her comment.

Even during death, Walters certainly left an impression on his family and future generations as a man of great faith singing to God before meeting Him face to face. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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