|Ron Thornton 1923-1979
Having left school at 14 to work in the local factory my dad’s education was mostly obtained from books and he never stopped learning. He was an adventurer too and in the mid-1960s persuaded my mum that they should sell our house (an unusual piece of property for a family of our class at that time) and use the proceeds for travel. After stops in North and South Wales, Edinburgh, Blackburn, London, Sheffield and a memorable nine months in the Bahamas we settled in Cornwall. Nine years later whilst decorating the kitchen dad had a pain in his chest and went upstairs for a lay down. He died a few minutes later.
We were living in a coastal village on the Lizard Peninsula at the time and my dad’s funeral was held in the only church. I was pleased and surprised that the service was so personal. The vicar only visited my mum and I once before the funeral but he also bothered to talk to other people to find out a bit about Ron (not Ronald his given name) Thornton the man.
My dad’s funeral was my first. I’ve been to quite a few others since; many of which have been much less centred on the personality and experiences of the person who has died. But despite the positive experience my dad’s funeral still wasn’t what it could have been and I’ve been wondering recently how I would have organised and delivered a life centred ceremony for him. He did have a religious faith, but this was not church based, and I feel sure that he, and we (my mum and I), would have appreciated something more personal, more bespoke.
|Me and Dad