[aprssig] Roger's Funeral

Darryl Smith Darryl at radio-active.net.au
Mon Sep 20 02:32:12 CDT 2004


I know a lot of people would have wanted to attend Roger's funeral but were
unable to because of other commitments and the distances involved. In the
normal scheme of things I would not have been able to attend the funeral,
but I was able to thanks to the coincidence of spending a few days in the UK
on the way to Rome for work. 

I took the train from London King's Cross up to Grantham, and was picked up
by Ken Collins. Four of us went to lunch at a local pub having Lincolnshire
sausages for lunch, and then prepared for the funeral. Ken went in the
funeral cort├Ęge, where the rest of us went direct. 

Roger's service was due to start at about 3:20PM. The casket arrived about
this time, and those gathered followed the family in. Enya's Shepard Moons
was playing in the background when the people entered. Dee and the children
sat in the front Row; and I think Roger's sister was in that row too. I was
in the second row with Ken Collins and a woman who I was introduced to but
cannot remember the name of. The rest of the congregation sat on the rows

I was given a special place in the service, at the family's request sitting
in the second row. This was from people I had never spoken to, and for the
funeral of a man I had never met. I was honored, and at felt at least
partially unworthy. 

After an introduction, the congregation sang the hymn "The Day Thou Gravest
Lord, Is Ended". This was not one that I knew so it was lucky that it was in
the order of service. 

After this the funeral celebrant spoke about Roger's Life, history and
loves. I learned a lot about Roger during this talk. How he was a sports
fan, and much he loved his family. I also learned that roger having been
born in 1947 was the same age as my own father.

Then followed a poem Roger wrote at University called "The Death of
Creativity" read by his son. After this Ken Collins gave a tribute to the
family about some of the things that he had done and the impact he had in
the Ham Radio community - and the world outside. This included a quote from
Andrew Robb from here in Australia from the online condolence book. TAPR
also got a mention.

Following this was Roger's favorite song "Heaven (Candlelight Mix)" by DJ
Sammy, either as a reflection or prayer depending on your beliefs. This was
rather sad and stirring, bringing much of the congregation to tears. 

Following this song was the commitment, where the curtain was pulled around
the coffin ready for cremation. At the end of the service everyone was
invited back to the house, not the least to see the presentation of Roger's
award. It was stated that I came all the way from Australia to present the
award. Not quite, and this left me a bit embarrassed.

The funeral celebrant said some more things, and then we were asked to leave
out the side door. The music was the Theme from Ally McBeal. Roger loved
Ally McBeal, not the least because it was set in Boston, USA, and Roger
lived in Boston, UK. 

Following the service everyone went outside to see the flowers. This is a
concept that I have never seen in Australia and is a nice touch. I also got
to meet Dee and the family for the first time. 

[One other thing to note, the cemetery/crematorium I believe is on Marian
Way, with Friar Way and Robin Hoods Way intersecting. Sherwood Ave and
Sheriff Way are close by. For those that do not know the geography,
Nottingham is only 30 miles away. And if you have no idea what I am talking
about, do a search on Google for "Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham"]

On getting to the house, we were all invited into the back garden. Everyone
was given a glass and some wine. They actually ran out of wine but had
non-alcoholic which really suited me since I do not drink. [I know, an
Australian that does not drink... ]

Dee and the two children were at one end of a huge circle. I then got to
present the parchment and the plaque to Roger. I basically did what John
Ackerman N8UR had done at the DCC, and read each out and presented each. And
added some words of my own. 

Dee noted that in the last month and a half, that there had not been much
that had brought light into Roger's life. One of the things that brought so
much joy to him was the award. And I believe that the family got a lot from
seeing his reaction to the recognition. They were all so happy that Roger
had got some recognition. Everyone seemed to be impressed with the plaque. 

[They also got a lot from the APRS community too]

Following this presentation, there were two others. The Tier 2 Sysops gave
US$500 and the Core Sysops gave US$600. These were presented to each of the
children, and they both noted that the money was being donated to 'The St
Barnabas Hospice', a voluntary organization which cares for terminally ill
patients. It worked out so well, with each of the three getting to receive a
token from the community.

I can now see the impact that the TAPR award had on Roger and his family.
They kept thanking me for what I had done and for the award. And I kept
needing to say no, it is me who needs to thank you for letting me
participate and for supporting Roger with his work. 

What Roger had never told his family about was the impact of his software on
the real world. Roger was a real sports fan, and had spent a lot of time
attending sports events, and also a lot of time participating in sport. He
loved cycling, and used to cycle next to his daughter whilst she ran. 

But he had never told them how his software had been used in the Sydney
Olympics to support the cycling, and the marathons. Nor how it had been used
in IronMan Hawaii where it was used to track for the cycling and the
running. His son seemed really impressed when I let him know that I had the
Sydney Olympics recorded in UI-View. [And I warned them to keep a lookout
for an IronMan Polo Shirt I had sent in thanks for his assistance with

What I am going to do now is to get together all the bits and pieces I have
on UI-View in the real world and will send the family a CD. This will
include stuff on how UI-View was used in the Sydney Olympics and the like. 

After the presentation, one of the hams gave me a lift to Grantham station,
although I would have loved to stay much longer at the house. But the offer
of the ride was too good to ignore, and I arrived back in London about 8PM. 


Darryl Smith, VK2TDS   POBox 169 Ingleburn NSW 2565 Australia
Mobile Number 0412 929 634 [+61 4 12 929 634 International] 
www.radio-active.net.au\blog\ - www.radio-active.net.au\web\tracking

Darryl Smith, VK2TDS   POBox 169 Ingleburn NSW 2565 Australia
Mobile Number 0412 929 634 [+61 4 12 929 634 International] 
www.radio-active.net.au\blog\ - www.radio-active.net.au\web\tracking

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