In April 2011 the Men’s Shed group went on a bus trip to see a robotic dairy farm, have lunch at a hotel then tour a car museum. The bus driver took a phone call while we were at the museum & became visibly upset & he then started hurrying us out and back onto the coach.
Ted, one of the older members, was having a great time, swapping navy stories with the driver’s father-in-law, who’d also seen naval service at much the same time.
The call was to say that Ted’s wife had taken a bad turn while at lunch with friends and was in hospital & not expected to live much longer. She passed away the next day without regaining consciousness.
Some time later after her funeral Ted approached the driver and said “You knew Elisabeth had been taken to hospital on the day of our bus trip and you didn’t tell me.” The driver replied in the affirmative to which Ted replied “I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I had a wonderful day out with my mates and it would have ruined their day as well as mine to learn of this. It was a hard call for you & you did it well.”
Today I had a phone call from another Men’s Shed member, who’d known Ted from his days as a caravan club member. Ted stepped on a rainbow on October 30th, just a week ago. He’d been ill for about 8 months & was in a local nursing home.
Internet searches revealed the date of his passing & which funeral home will be performing the service, the date of which has yet to be announced. It will be live-streamed, we do know that. As current President of the Shed group I let everyone else know the information I had, as well as leaving a family condolence message on the Funeral Home’s website.
Ted had been an enthusiastic supporter of several local organisations over the years, being known for slipping envelopes containing several hundred dollars to group organisers and for his cheekiness & generosity of spirit as well as of funds.
A true gentleman whom we were fortunate to have had in our lives.