On Sunday, July 14, 2013, pete wrote: Trish’s dear old Dad Neil shuffled off quietly yesterday. As always no fuss. Made sure the family knew “No funeral, no memorial service, no nothing,” before he went.
Broke his hip two weeks ago and although he got wonderful treatment at the Prince Mshiyeni state hospital and the pinning of the bone went well, with no infection and no pain, he was just shy of his 88th birthday and only managed to sit up twice, with much help from daughter Janet and the physio. He never got back onto his feet.
He was a wonderful fella, always helpful, obliging and useful. Whenever I was lax on the home-improvement front (um, that would be ‘always’) Aitch would very pointedly, with an evil grin say “MY Daddy would have fixed that LONG ago” or if I said “That’s vaktap, irreparable,” she’d retort “Don’t worry, I’ll take it to my Dad – HE’ll fix it. He can fix ANYTHING!” Teased the hell out of me, that woman.
And Neil accepted our kids unconditionally. Simply flung open his arms and got on with the job of being Gompa Neil to Jess and Tommy. His usual fine, unfussed, can-do approach to life.
Irrepressible sense of humour, when someone was “gaan’ing aan” too much Neil would show ironic “sympathy” by playing a mournful air violin! He always looked on the bright side, but was running out of joy the last two years, what with being completely blind, missing his one daughter and his other daughter being far away.
He would say to me “I really MISS Trishy so much!” Twin daughter Janet has been a star to him these last two years – and the last two weeks even more so. She’ll sure miss the hell out of him now, as will her Mom Iona, who Neil doted on, cooked for, looked after, pandered to.