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Tom Robins, 1939-2014

News ·Saturday July 12, 2014 @ 20:30 EDT (link)

My uncle, Tom Robins, passed away on July 1 after a battle with Parkinson's. He was 75. Of all my uncles and aunts, most of whom, on my dad's side at least, still lived in the Niagara area, we were closest to him and his family, both geographically—they were also in Fonthill—and not least because he was a Christian and raised his family that way. He liked to work with his hands, and built, among other things, a barn on his property on Hansler, and a rocking-horse that he passed on to us for Emily and Julia when his kids had finished with it. He worked as a Research Technician and a Mill Supervisor at Ontario Paper, and had a natural mechanical aptitude.

The funeral program and hymns supplement (PDFs), courtesy of my cousin David's longtime girlfriend Danielle Elzinga.

Honey and I drove up to be there with the family; we left on the morning of Saturday the 5th. We had originally planned to leave on Wednesday, but ended up staying the week and leaving Saturday. The viewing was Monday (2-4pm and 7-9pm; we went to the later one). It wasn't so much hard to see him, or, rather, not-him at all, but the body we were so used to, but hard to know that the real him was no longer here with us. "You are a soul; you have a body" (George MacDonald; frequently attributed to C. S. Lewis). The funeral and internment were Tuesday, at Scottlea, with a lunch at the chapel in between. "Family remarks" were delivered by Thomas McGarvey (his stepson, reading his wife Mary's remarks), Andrew Grist (son in law), and David (son), as well as my father, his (younger) brother. To a great degree, Tom was responsible for bringing the light of the gospel to their family, such as received it, including my father. I got to meet a lot of relatives I hadn't seen for a long time and some I'd never met. Fittingly, it rained during the internment; the sky wept as we placed flowers on the casket.

We had planned to leave the next day, Wednesday, but decided to stay with my family a few more days. That gave us a chance to visit with my Uncle Chuck (Tom's brother) and Aunt Shirley in Beaverdams, and give him a copy of the funeral program (above), since he was unwell and couldn't be there. We also got to take my dad and mom out to dinner (The Keg) for a belated father's day/birthday. Fortunately I am able to work remotely when I need to (especially since I don't have any minions people reporting to me yet).

Books finished: Knife of Dreams, The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight.