John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Monday 25th October 2004


My Dad’s funeral

From The Cooper Diaries:
…I walked to Poulton station to meet Janet off the train. It was some 10 minutes late arriving. As we went up the steps to the street- (or bridge-) level, Steve and Berenice met us, for it was arranged that they pick Janet up on their way from home to Mum’s. Relatives started to gather a little before the scheduled time: Jack and Sally (Janet hadn’t met Sally, who had great difficulty even walking from the car to the house, before); Ronnie and Margaret, and Deborah and John; and — with Nancy, also somewhat rickety on her legs — her brother David and Eileen (whom, perhaps, I’d not seen since Beechwood Baths days), and their daughters Susan (not seen, perhaps, since she was a babe-in-arms and Mum baby-sat one night; I remember Hawaiian Eye or 77 Sunset Strip being on TV) and Carol (not seen ever, I think).
The hearse and our limousine were late arriving but eventually we set out. This was a very inspiring, uplifting funeral. The coffin was carried in by the undertakers, as Mike Smith recited, “I am the resurrection and the life…” We, the chief mourners, followed it in and sat down. I couldn’t find a suitable looking place to put my MiniDisc recorder, so just left it and the microphone on the floor; the recording didn’t turn out badly, though.
We sang Crown Him with many crowns;—
—then Mike read from 1Corinthians 15.20-26; 39-45; 50-58;—
—then Ian Makinson gave an appreciation.
Heather Stirzaker née Makinson sang a song based mainly on passages from John, with the refrain And I will raise him up on the last day.
Then, introduced by Mike, our Tony spoke some Memories of Dad, produced by Steve, and his own Memories of Grandad.
Mike gave an address,—
—Ian a prayer of thanksgiving,—
—Mike a last little story—
—and Steve Carling a blessing.
Deborah Johnson née Hill played a Technics keyboard for all the musical items.
We sang O happy day as we left for the Crematorium. At the Crematorium I wanted a photo of Mike and the coffin; but too late: the curtains were drawn together and the coffin hidden from sight.
Afterwards, I photographed the flowers.

I made sure I took a photo of Jack and Sally—

—as I stood there photographing those who came out, for, because of Sally’s inability to get about, they said they wouldn’t be going back to the buffet at the church;—
—ditto re the Gillotts (in fact, they seem to have more than their share of photos) because they said they needed to get Nancy back home; but I wrongly assumed that Ron and Margaret, and Deborah and John, would be going to the buffet.

Some of the flowers were deposited at Grandma and Grandad Cooper’s grave (where Dad’s ashes will be interred later this week). Back at the church, there was more than enough food for those who were there. I had a chat with John McLellan, a brief word with Pauline Ratcliffe, and some reminiscences with Brenda Smith.… When the time for Janet’s train came, Janine kindly took us to Blackpool North station, but when it became known that the train was delayed 10 minutes arriving, let alone setting out, I left Janet there and returned with Janine. Steve and Berenice stopped over at Mum’s, sleeping on the bed-settee in the front lounge; when I leave, they’ll have the room I’ve been occupying till the end of the week.

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