Saturday, October 15, 2011

my grandpa's eulogy

my grandpa passed away on oct. 4. the memorial service was today and here is what I wrote and read:

"Grandfathers are pillars of wisdom and strength within a family..." that is a quote that I recently read and my grandpa is no exception.

He and I spent a lot of time together since he moved into Langley in 2004. I would go over to his apartment at Magnolia Gardens for frequent visits where he and I would sit and work on a puzzle, reminisce about our memories as a family or he would tell me stories from his 91 years of life. We often talked about the people we knew from Central Park Gospel Hall and 10th Avenue Bible Chapel. He would tell me about how much he had loved all of his duties at 10th Avenue, whether it was being the treasurer, working on the gardens, cleaning the Chapel, preparing the table for the communion service or leading the hymns. He loved the church and he loved God. I always knew and never doubted his devotion to serving God and serving others. That is something that I will always strive to emulate.

Not only was grandpa devoted to the church and God, he was also devoted to his work. When he was 16 he left school and was hired to work in the lab at BC Sugar. He devoted 49 years to his work in the lab and as plant supervisor. During WW2 he joined the navy as a medic and he often told me about how he always sent his paycheque home to his mom to help pay the mortgage on the family home. After his mom passed away he and my grandma continued to care for his dad. They lived next door to one another and every morning grandpa would take breakfast over to his dad and they would make him dinner each night. Family has always been SO important to him.

Growing up my siblings and I spent a lot of time with grandma and grandpa. They lived only a 10 minute walk from our home which gave them easy access to their 4 grandchildren. Grandpa helped Trisha with her paper route a couple times a week, he never missed any of Brad and Robbie's soccer games, we often had family dinners together, went to their place and played dress up or "perry mappy", did crafts in their kids craft corner or "helped" grandpa in his garden with his tomatoe, cucumber and potato plants.

Grandpa was a man of routine. Whether it was picking up my dad's company's mail each morning and delivering it to him, cutting his lawn with only ever a push mower, eating fish and chips with MALT vinegar, making sure he always had HP sauce with his dinner, spending his summers in Penticton, giving his neighbour haircuts or unlocking and locking the Chapel every Sunday...he would never waver from his routine. When grandma passed away in 1993, he started a new routine of having us 4 kids over for lunch every wednesday. We would walk to his place from school and he would serve us grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in egg with salt and vinegar potato chips and chocolate milk. For dessert he always had fresh glazed doughnuts from middlegate mall. We would sit in the same seats at the table with the same cups, no matter what. We loved it and will never forget it.

Many of you may remember my grandpa as a bit of a worrier....maybe even A LOT of a worrier. He worried about his family the most. In order to counteract that worry he would call us almost every day just to check in. When my son was born in May I was unable to visit him as often and therefore the number of phone calls i received increased. He always wanted to know how his great-grandson was doing each day. Another thing he worried about was eating. "what are we having for lunch today? What are we having for dinner?" He had some of the care aides wrapped around his finger and they would supply him with monthly menus. If he knew there was a meal that he wasn't going to enjoy, most likely meals which contained onions, he would check and see what was being served on the other side of the building and arrange to have that instead. I doubt that he sat down to very many meals where he didn't know what would be showing up on his plate. I know that worrying is a trait I inherited from my grandpa, a trait I used to hate but now I think I can look at it differently, look at it as a little daily reminder of my grandpa.

He has always been, and will continue to be a pillar of what it means to be a faithful servant, loving friend and devoted follower of Jesus Christ.


  1. Lael, reading this brings tears to my eyes. What a precious gift your grampa was. Your love for him (and his for you) radiates through every word.

  2. Yes Dawn. I too have tears in my eyes. What a testament your grandfather was to you and your family and what a blessing you were to him- giving so freely of yourself. Beautiful words.