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Farewell, Uncle Charlie

My Uncle Charlie passed away yesterday.

He’s survived by my Aunt Marion (shown in the picture above) and sons, Reggie and Rocky Gillies.

I spent a couple of summers out on the southern Saskatchewan farms belonging to my Uncle George and Uncle Charlie when I was a pre-teenager. My memories of Charlie come mainly from that time. I recall that he and my Aunt Marion used to be pretty serious about their square-dancing, and I have a fairly clear memory of seeing Charlie’s collection of dress cowboy boots for that purpose. I always thought it was neat that they made the time, with farming being such a big job, to enjoy their dancing.

I also recall that Charlie and Marion treated me as more of an adult than a kid- I don’t know how any of my Aunts and Uncles put up with me, really, but being listened to that way sure made an impression on me. Charlie always seemed so calm and level-headed, but with a twinkle in his eye and a wry sort of wit that made him a pleasure to talk to.

I know its got to be hard for Marion and the kids, but my thoughts are with them: Charlie will be missed.

The following words come from Charlie’s funeral handout:


Don’t grieve for me,
for now I’m free.
I’m following the path
God has laid you see.
I took His hand
when I heard His call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day
to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found the peace at the close of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savoured much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief.
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee,
God wanted me now, He set me free.

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