I had a wonderful father.
Eric, who was born in Swansea in 1920, died last week, aged 95, in Hereford County Hospital. I shall miss him tremendously: his dry sense of humour and fondness for silly rhymes and bad puns; his kindness to everyone, his honesty, his optimism and patience; his ingenuity at solving problems, making and mending things and interest in everything. He loved music, played piano and organ and was an accomplished photographer. He was an electronic design engineer by profession, having worked for Standard Telephones and Cables for over 25 years, and then specialised in bespoke electronic church organs until he retired. After moving to Bucknell in 1976, he got involved in the life of the village: providing music, sound effects and posters for the panto society, joining the choir and being reserve organist at St Mary’s Church, helping people, fixing things.
He was married to my mother for 60 years, and they worked well as a team: Eric took photos and Barbara painted pictures from the slides. When my mother’s health failed, he cared for her, patiently and lovingly.
His own health had been gradually failing for the last year, despite making a very good recovery from a stroke last January, but his mind stayed clear and he still enjoyed programming his computer, doing Sudoku puzzles and reading. Just recently, he was starting to get frustrated by his lack of energy and difficulty in talking clearly. His heart was failing. He was in hospital for three days, while the doctors made every effort to stabilise him so he could go back home for the end. But his kidneys were failing too, and they could only keep him comfortable. He died peacefully in his sleep and my sister was with him.
(The picture above is one I took on his 90th birthday.)