On February 13, 2013 at 1:30am, Ash Wednesday, my dad passed away from pneumonia. He was 87. He was a vet of two wars, a chemist, Scoutmaster, in town government, the church, and the best dad.
He was the real Incred.
The following is the eulogy that I wrote for the minister to read;
Thank you all. It has been a tough couple of years with his brilliant mind slowly
dimming. My emotions are just under the surface, and the little things will put a tear in
the eye. I just know I wouldn’t be able to see these words let alone be able to say them.
Amazing Grace on the bagpipes will just kill me. But I really want to be positive because
he really is a great dad.
Everyone knows him by the volunteer work he has done. From the Boy Scouts, Masons, town
boards, and church committees. He also was the president of the Arthur D. Little Credit
Union for ten years, and helped the credit union go through some tough times while going
public. All this was from someone who didn’t have any financial schooling.
With all this extra volunteering you would think there wasn’t much time for family life,
well maybe not with the dishes but we did hikes, canoeing, and camping. A lot of the
way my dad is, is because of scouting. He was a Scoutmaster for several years before I
was born so it just seemed natural for me to be a scout also, but long before that, I had
my first hike when I was four. We climbed Mount Moosilauke, but I was too tired to climb
all the way down. He ended up punching out a couple holes in his backpack to put my legs
through, and carry me the rest of the way down. It wasn’t long after that we climbed
Osceola, and kept on going. We eventually climbed all 48 peaks in the NH 4000 footer
club, and also in Baxter State Park. While I was in scouts he canoed twice in the
Matagamon High Adventure area. We canoed both lakes and rivers for a week while bringing
all our gear to campout each night. Which, in later years, led to canoeing/ camping trips
on the Rio Grande, and the San Juan rivers for a week each.
A lot of the hiking trips we would stay at mountain huts to make a couple of days of it.
We did a number of Fourth of July hut/hikes to celebrate a neighbor’s birthday until
the popularity of staying at a hut grew too great. Later years we would spend a couple of
days before Christmas eve at Pinkham Notch to do some winter hiking because for some
reason the place was empty. Even in his early eighties we would climb the Mt. Washington
auto road, and his last hike he got to the head wall in Tuckerman’s ravine. As a few
members of the hiking group started getting gray on top they became known as the Gray
Scouts, and Gordon made up Native American names for the members. Except dad who
he referred to as Old Grizz.
Vacations were limited to going down home to Canada while he was working, but we still
explored the Maritime Providences. After he retired there was more time to go and see
other parts of the country. The canoe trips out west were part of them, but moms idea of
running water comes from a motel room So we, and some with mom and dad alone, went to a
lot of national parks out west and in Canada. A highlight vacation was a walking trip
along the Cornish coast. Dad and I spent a week seeing tin mines, fishing villages, and
great scenery while staying at a bed and breakfast. Later we traveled to London for more
sightseeing, and to Leeds to see the the church where his mothers parents were married.
How do you sum up a persons life in a few paragraphs? I could go on with stories, and
accomplishments. I just hope he has been able to be part of your life in some small way
because he meant the world to me.
A friend of mine sent me a poem the other day that I would like to share.
His Journeys Just Begun
Don’t think of him as gone away,
His journeys just begun,
Life holds so many facets,
This earth is only one.
Just think of him as resting,
From the sorrows and the tears,
In a place of warmth and comfort,
Where there are no days and years.
Think how he must be wishing
That we could know today
How nothing but our sadness
Could really pass away.
And think of him as living
In the hearts of those he touched…
For nothing is ever lost,
And he was loved so much.
After the funeral I took some pictures of Myfanwy with a couple of roses from the service, and dad’s picture from the cover of the program. While I was at it I took some more with Myffy crossing her legs. I just couldn’t help myself Here is the post to my dad at ODC; http://ourdollcommunity.com/forum/index.php?topic=4716.0