CommunityNewsPeopleRon Baker

Pass on a Legacy – The Funeral Will Be Fun!

Well, what fun it is to attend a funeral! At least one that is designed as a celebration of life – a party.

Such was the latest funeral I attended. My aunt, Myrtle Somerville, (of the Mantario/Eatonia Somervilles), was 96 years old (within days of 97 years). Her standard in life was to remain positive and live laughter. Her last days were open to joy and thankfulness.

As we discussed at table afterwards, our tribe from which Myrtle emerged (the Baker’s) affirmed that we are very much into fun, word play and just plain play.

My uncle, “Dr. Robert”, the oldest brother, was a pioneer in the area of radiation therapy – working at the University of Saskatchewan. He looked so much like my father that, at a family reunion, I pulled his coat tail and was horrified when I saw full face that this was not my “dad”. He was able to laugh at my discomfort, trying to put me at ease. Robert enjoyed proclaiming the Baker fortune (a story for another day). You may not think this is funny, knowing that you don’t know what I know, but if you did know . . . you would laugh along with me.

Calvin, second son and my father, had a wry sense of humour – passed on to his children. The word plays and inverted way of looking at things made for some fun table times – and my dad would just sit back and relish the discussion!

Bruce, the third son, was perhaps neurodiverse, or just without filters. He loved to pan for gold, loved to live in Whitehorse, even loved to do 400 pushups a day (remember, it took a whole day, but at least he would do 400 pushups).

Clara Mae was 4’ 11” (or, as she would say – 4’ 10 1/2” – let’s be exact) and the oldest sister of six girls. She had to be responsible up until she didn’t have to be. There was the proverbial twinkle in the eye.

MaryEtta (Etta) lived in her own world. She felt she was the black sheep of the family – a title I think she relished. Youth flocked to her because she was never old! There could always be another way to approach a problem – don’t get caught up in the rut of life, live in the river of life!

Two sets of twins followed in the coming years. Joyce and Grayce were fraternal twins, Muriel and Myrtle were identical and used that birth advantage to their advantage (I’m told from dates, to class attendance, to times you weren’t sure which twin you were with).

Grayce was married to a Dies – a last name that made for many different laughable situations. Her life work with her children is a great legacy – with love and laughter the inheritance.

Joyce loved education and teaching – a propensity she passed on to her children, whether in formal classrooms or just in everyday life. She has the quickest smile, always with a hint of mischief that might just appear unexpectedly.

Muriel was a missionary in Africa, a strong single woman with marriage only in her later years! She believed that God directed her – down to finding her destination by following the car in front of her – God had told her, and she ended up at the destination!!

And then there is Myrt! No wonder there was a celebration of life!!

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