On Friday, April 26, 2013 we buried my father’s ashes in the same graveyard as 6 previous generations of Underhay’s and right beside his daughter Margaret who died at birth in 1958. Here is the text of the eulogy I delivered at the service.
Our father was a good man. He was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. He, like
all of us, had his flaws.
Dad wasn’t very expressive with his emotions, but one thing we always knew was that he loved us. He worked hard all of his life, sometimes, perhaps a little too hard, but the main reason he worked so hard was to provide a better life for us than he knew growing up.
Besides caring for us, he spent his life caring for his community; in every sense of the word. His concept of community extended well beyond the boundaries of our neighbourhood. His volunteer efforts supported the church we are in today as well as the Fortune Community Centre and the schools we attended.
The numerous groups he assisted included:
- the Souris Exhibition Association,
- Souris Co-Op and Credit Union,
- Vegetable Growers Co-Op
- Federation of Agriculture,
- Dairy Producers Association, and the
- Ayrshire Breeders Association.
A couple of years ago, he was honoured by the Progressive Conservative Party of PEI for being a member for over 60 years.
There are too many others to list them all here today.
Yes, he gave a lot to his, that is, our community, but in the end what we will remember is that he and Mom raised the six of us, and we all, in some way continue that caring for others we knew our whole lives.
Another thing about both Mom and Dad that we all inherited was their love of books. Growing up, our house was full of books. In fact, anyone who has been in to see Mom knows that it still is. Some of my earliest memories of Dad are of him sitting in his armchair with a book in his hands and his head back while the sounds of Hockey Night in Canada mingled with his snoring.
As much trouble as the group of us caused growing up, we all turned out pretty well. As a parent myself, I know that is the greatest achievement of all. Thanks Dad.