requiescat in pace – Jack Etheridge 1925-2015


You may recall that around this time last year, I posted Dad, a series of photos I took while visiting my father in the hospital after he had had a heart attack.

I was recently back in Newfoundland, Canada to be with him one last time and was there for his passing and funeral.

I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendor. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?

Please do not feel sad or sorry either for my father or my family. He was just short of 90 when he passed: a veteran and deeply religious. Bit he was also fun loving with a wicked sense of sly humor, kind, generous, loyal and hard working…and as mentally sharp at the end as all the days of his life. The family deeply appreciated that we were able to have him with us for as long as we did and now, in our hearts, celebrate a life lived rather than a death grieved. He was a good man now gone to his good reward and it is an honor to be able to honor him.

Thank you for sharing this moment with me.

I would also like to invite you to visit the poetry blog, the Book of Pain. As always, special thanks to my dearest spouse Lyn, who does most of the hard part: the photos selection. Thank you for dropping by the Book of Bokeh.

All photographs and comments ©John Etheridge with all rights reserved; not to be used without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.


58 thoughts on “requiescat in pace – Jack Etheridge 1925-2015

    • My father worked with your dad in the mill. He was Jim Morris and he died in 1965. I envy you your many years with Jack.

      • Ralph, I am so sorry that you lost your father so early. I did not know him and in 1965 would have been too young to be aware of my father’s friends as I got to know them years later. But we were grateful to have had my father with us for so long. He was a wonderful man and I still find myself reaching for the phone to call him. I hope I never lose that…

        You may be interested in this…a poem about Grand Falls called Labour Day I wrote last year and just re=-posted it.

        Take care, and thank you for dropping me a line! Can I ask how you heard of or came across my photography site?

    • Thank you, dear! We loved him very much and though we miss him are happy that he is at peace and content. 🙂

  1. I remember your last years post well because it reminded me of my own Dad.
    Your father was a remarkable man and had a big life. Having him for so long was a blessing for all of you. I am glad he was content to meet with his Maker. Blessed be his journey.

    • Thank you so very much dear! We live in an amazing time, when so many live to such a great old age…notwithstanding that in their lifetime of the 20th century they faced such great trials: two world wars, major economic collapse and a terrible pandemic. When I think of what they weathered I am, frankly, in awe. I heard recently that 1,000 people a day become 100 in the US alone. I wish that we were giving them a better life…the one that they deserve.

      • Oh you are so right – they have been through many hard trials and deserve a better life in their old age. People care of those who can take care of themselves just fine, but old people are neglected as if it is their fault they are still alive.

        • Exactly! In fact, I wonder how much of the elderly woes are created because as they enter a certain age their lives ‘end’ and they are given no function or role in society to fulfill. I sincerely hope that I can work until the day I die…maybe not get paid for it, maybe not working long or every day. But doing something to keep me occupied.

  2. He saw many first’s of his time and fought World War 2…so many stories you might have heard from him. From the comments it feels he was a super dad and a great being. I must say you are very lucky to have known and be with such a person. May he rest in peace.

    • Norma, you are correct: I am very lucky to have had Jack as a father and Mae as my mother. Although I miss them both terribly, it is only for a while, and I am glad they are re-united! 🙂

    • Thank you so very much! It was a hectic, worrisome outbound journey but being there at the end with him and the family was an honor and a blessing. 🙂

  3. Omg, John,….i just thought of you last night…only to wake up to this. I trust dad’s in a good place. And you. Thank you, John, for sharing.

    • Thank you so very much. I assure you that my dad is in a very good place as am I and all the family. We loved and honored him and when it was right we let go of him with love, joy and deserved sadness. But no grief or pain.

  4. A man’s life can be judged by the legacy he leaves behind and he has obviously left a wonderful legacy in you and the way you view life. I am sure he will be sadly missed by you all but it is good to know that, as you say, he’s gone to his reward.

    • My father was deeply religious, but more importantly, deeply spiritual. He taught me that voicing a belief is not enough—you have to live that belief.

      But I will miss him. 🙂

    • That is incredibly sweet and kind of you and I am equally sure that he would have responded with a twinkle in his eye and a, “You’re either some blind or you’re talking about someone else! My guess is blind.” 🙂

  5. It’s good to be able to recall the good moments and wow, he has lived a very long (and interesting, I’m sure) life. I’m glad you could share the last moments with him so he wasn’t alone. I remembered your father’s hand pictures you share with us not so long ago. It was very powerful. Take care, John.

    • My dad grew up in a small town in Grand Falls, Newfoundland. He could remember the first time he saw a car, the first time he saw an airplane and the first time he heard a radio, saw a movie or watched a TV show…all being the first time any of those arrived in his part of the world. He lived through the Depression, fought in World War II and saw mankind walk on the moon. In his days a middle class was born and far distance travel went from being the luxury of the rich to the commonplace of the average. To be honest, his was a hard world: discipline on children was not just ‘tough’ but frankly brutal and they were expected to work hard, very hard with little or no recompense from a very young age. We nowadays think that was a ‘golden time’ but it wasn’t; ask anyone who lived through it. And while I still learned a sense of discipline and a work ethic from my father, he treated me with more love, respect and compassion than he ever knew as a child. What better can you ask of a man then that he treated his own better than he himself was treated, or learned to love better than he himself was loved?

      That is the measure of my father and I frankly do no think that I can match it, let alone better it.

      What a man he was! 🙂

        • They say that the rate of technical innovation is accelerating and obviously I have seen a lot of changes too. But I wonder if they’ll ever feel so great as the horse being replaced by a car and highway system, or international air travel becoming commonplace for a man who grew up thinking that he would never stray more than 50 miles from where he was born. 🙂 In any event he and we live in interesting times!

          • Unfortunately, I think you will see a lot of terrible things in the future, amazing.. not so sure. I’ve read the news about the palmyra site and it made me very sad. So my mood is quite gloomy tonight 😦

            • The story of Palmyra is tragic and disheartening, I agree. But it is all too easy to be depressed by focusing on the wrong done in the short term, rather than seeing the good done in the long term. I am not sure if Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature has been translated into French and/or Flemish yet, but in some language I would recommend anyone burdened by the history of the 20th century and the start of the 21st to read it. Frankly, I started because I wanted to know how big an idiot he is and to be able to refute his arguments. I was floored by his logic, facts and clarity. HIGHLY recommended!! It will help.

    • It’s true! As a friend said to me in an email, not only have I won the Love Lottery but the Dad Lottery as well! Thank you for your lovely words. 🙂

  6. I am sorry for your great loss. Just yesterday I was at your site looking for you as you have been missed for a while. I’m glad you had a good dad and spent time with him. You are in my prayers with great love.

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