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Iowa Baptists bury missionary slain by blast

     SHELLSBURG, Iowa (BP)--The motorcade carrying William "Bill" Hyde's body for burial moved slowly through the Iowa countryside northwest of Cedar Rapids. In the fields, there is still snow caught in the stubble from last fall's harvest. The cool air and black earth at the cemetery on the edge of Shellsburg where he was born are a sharp contrast to the tropical heat and green jungle in which Hyde lived and worked for the past 25 years.

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Philippines airport scene
A terrorist bomb March 4 claimed the lives of Southern Baptist missionary Bill Hyde and 20 others at the airport in Davao City, the Philippines' second-largest city.Photo by Edith Regalado; The Philippine Star newspaper & www.philstar.com
     The 59-year-old missionary was killed March 4 in a bomb blast at the airport in Davao City, on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. This day, family, friends -- many who knew him from childhood -- missionary colleagues, and young adults who had him as a teacher gathered from across the globe to celebrate of his life.
     "The journey he took wasn't an easy one," said Dick Hyde, Bill's older brother. "The Lord had something in mind for Bill long before he was born."

Bill Hyde
     His middle name was Paul. And like the apostle he was named for, Hyde was strong-willed and opinionated, said his brother. And he was big. Big as a child and bigger as an adult. "His nickname was Slugger. He got it for being in fights. Lots of fights."
     By the time Hyde was in high school, his talent as a musician began to get notice. In a household of musicians, "He had the voice in our family," said Dick Hyde, "a deep bass like Tennessee Ernie Ford. He even had offers to be a professional musician."