Words I wrote on Facebook the evening of the day my Dad diedPosted: December 10, 2011
It really tickled my Dad that people all over the world were thinking of him in positivity, and he appreciated the power of that more than might be assumed from his scientist’s view of the world.
He was a surprisingly sensitive and spiritual person and was always interested in certain aspects of spiritual traditions from all over the world and in his last days and hours seemed especially lost in thinking about the mysticism of the Ancient Egyptians. Their culture was something that fascinated him all his life and in recent years he finally had the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong ambition to go to Egypt, and planned to return, but had to cancel the vacation when he was diagnosed with cancer.
It was his worst nightmare. Dad was for the majority of his life quite an active outdoors sort of a person that loved nothing better than scrambling up and down cliffs looking for fossils or sailing yachts, or simply wandering around looking at museums, architecture, trains and boats and planes and all those things a typical 1930s/40s schooolboy was expected to be interested in.
Please do read his “guest blog post ” on my blog
telling the history of what it was like to be a National Service Airman in the very early 1950s
My Dad was smart.. super smart, with a geeky/nerdy filing cabinet mind, and he knew a lot about almost everything; a natural intellectual, and he passed that along to his three somewhat off the wall weird kids… as anyone who knows us will attest.
We owe him so much …….
He didn’t smoke, rarely drank and always worked really hard. He had almost impossibly high standards for himself in anything he did. His qualifications and career were in Accountancy and Banking, but the love of his life was Science, specifically Geology, Palaeontology, Palaeobiology and he became a world reknown expert in his field and was an Honorary Associate Curator of the Oxford University Museum. He spent many years voluntarily giving up his leisure time to catalogue the vast fossil collection of Sir Charles Lyell who was the mentor of Charles Darwin. The collection lay for over 100 years in dusty boxes in the cupboards and attics of the museum
Dad did a LOT of things.. many of them I don’t even know about yet but expect to discover as we all sort through his things, and many others we will never know. He was a modest person who underplayed his contribution always. He gave up so much free time to teaching others about fossils too, just for the love of it.
In the end it was a fall, in his weakened state that put him in the hospital where he caught the pneumonia that killed him within just five days..