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Eulogy Example / Tribute

For your information and to help put things into perspective for this eulogy example:
This was a non- religious cremation ceremony for a 77 year old lady, all relevant persons and name places have been changed, the script was read verbatim as is.

You may also be interested in this Example Ceremony - Semi-Religious Cremation Service

Eulogy Example - Tribute to Gloria

Gloria had a good, happy, and richly varied life, in the short time we have here this morning we can barely scratch the surface, but Jack has been extremely helpful by providing me with some biographical notes, which will form the basis for our tribute to Gloria.

Gloria was born on the Date of Birth, Gloria's early years were spent close to the seashore, on the east coast of Ireland, and with her elder sister Sara and her brother Sean, she grew up in rectories of the Church of Ireland.

As a child she enjoyed family holidays taken in Western Ireland, and she became keenly interested in horses.

Thanks to her family and some indulgent friends she was able to take part in equestrian events at the Dublin Spring Shows, but unfortunately a child-hood illness curtailed her physical activities, and her well-intentioned parents sent her to a respected boarding school in England, an experience which she detested.

However, the start of the Second World War in 1939 brought release, as it was considered far too dangerous for the journeys to be made; so the remainder of Gloria's secondary schooling took place in Armagh, in much more congenial circumstances.

There followed periods at college and secretarial training, after which, in her early twenties, Gloria began secretarial work in England at a private school near Cambridge.

Her next job was in Weymouth Dorset where, as secretary to the Bishop, she lived inside the moated palace.

After three years in Weymouth, Gloria spent a year in Switzerland, again at a private school, which was,St George's at Clarens, near Montreux on Lake Geneva.

Gloria's independent career was sadly interrupted by the fatal illness of her mother, causing her to return home to be with her parents. After which, she and her widowed father moved house, and came to live in Crawley England, and Gloria took a secretarial post in London at Imperial College.

But even this potentially-stable situation only lasted for a couple of years, because she then accepted a proposal of marriage. The man concerned had employment in West Africa and, aided by her father and seen off by her friends, Gloria embarked at Liverpool for the week long voyage to Banjul at the mouth of the Gambia river.

The day after arriving, Gloria and Jack were married, in a ceremony performed by the Anglican Bishop of Gambia and Rio Pongas, Roderic Coote, who, by a remarkable coincidence, had been known previously to Gloria's family as a young clergyman in Dublin.

There followed 15 months of enjoyment of the vibrant colours and varied local scene of African life, the colourful women's dresses, the countryside, the seascapes, and the birds, all had their place in Gloria's appreciation.

Already interested in watercolour sketching, Gloria's abilities and inclination in this medium flowered during this time,
At this point I will just mention to you that some of Gloria's paintings will be on display outside after our ceremony.

The next and subsequent employment saw Gloria and Jack in residence abroad again, firstly for two years in India, followed by seven years in Uganda, based at the government station of Entebbe.

In his notes, Jack graphically recalls how Gloria participated in the South Indian social life, and could really appreciate the experiences provided by the sights, the sounds and the smells, and how much Gloria would enjoy trips out in the motorcar, usually through the coastal region with its paddy fields, or inland up into the hills, with their tea and coffee plantations

Recalling Uganda, Jack describes the snow-capped Mountains of the Moon and how much Gloria enjoyed the countryside, the scenery and the wildlife, and how she occasionally rode a horse through a local vanilla plantation.

Upon returning to England, living once again close to London, Gloria resumed secretarial work in the capital, and was for a short time the breadwinner.

Gloria and Jack moved up here to Yorkshire in 1970, and although looking forward to fresh opportunities and challenges, Gloria discovered in contrast to the buoyant work situation of the south, that in Yorkshire the market for her secretarial skills was somewhat restricted.

For a year or so Gloria worked as a nursing auxiliary, in the geriatric wing of Name hospital at Village, and for several years as a volunteer in the same hospital, assisting patients who were visiting the day centre.

In the late 1970's Gloria threw herself into brailling for the Library for the Blind, to which cause she spent many hours each day pounding away at the primitive machine, which they had supplied.

But after four or five years, damaged fingers and failing eyesight meant that she had to withdraw from this task.

Gloria grew up in surroundings of active music making: she enjoyed singing from an early age, and in her youth she entered for solo vocal events at several Dublin musical competitions.

Music was always close to Gloria's heart, and she was skilled in playing several instruments, whilst in South India and Uganda, her cello was her close companion.

The musical activity, which gave Gloria most pleasure, was singing with one or two like-minded people.

Gloria mostly enjoyed choral singing, and was an active participant in several choirs.

Following in her father's footsteps, Gloria was also a methodical and determined gardener, and birds, in particular songbirds, were a source of much pleasure to which apparently, Gloria was drawn when still a child.

Gloria's interest in words, their shapes and their other features, was long lasting. She claimed to ‘enjoy' practising shorthand, and, later, Braille transcription.

Gloria has penned many poems over the years; I would like to read one of them for you now. The message that it conveys still holds as firm now, as it did in 1972 when it was written.

"This joyful Eastertide!"
Amidst pollution, unemployment, famine?
In stupid selfishness we blunder on, Greedy for wealth, for prestige and position,
Caring not what we lose upon the way, In peace, in beauty and humanity.
We fill the world with mouths we cannot feed,
And reach with urban tentacles across the fields,
To make the countryside a soul-less place of bricks and concrete.
Does this bring joy at Eastertide?
The desperate fox, the frightened otter,
We use them for our sport -what do they matter?
And with a shrug we watch the trees come down,
Where once the chaffinch's cascading song was heard.
When will we learn to use our talents better,
To lead a saner life, to care more deeply?
When will we find a joyful Eastertide.

One other subject in which Gloria maintained intense interest was the political and social situation in Northern Ireland.

Following partition and being acquainted with people who lived on both sides of the border, Gloria liked to adopt a moderate position, and was considerably distressed by news of the cruelty, atrocities and wilful destruction perpetrated in the province throughout most of the last thirty years.

At this point I would like to quote directly from Jack's writings.

Gloria valued her friends and derived great pleasure from her friendships. In personal appraisals she spoke only kindly of people.

Gloria was modest about her attainments, and reticent concerning her abilities and achievements, she possessed great resourcefulness, level-headedness and integrity.

A private, self-contained person, she was gentle, sensitive and sympathetic.

A doctor who treated Gloria during her last six months remarked upon her sense of humour.

I am not going to go into any great detail about Gloria's illness, as I am sure you will all be well aware of her situation over the past few years. A situation which sadly, has led to us all to being here this morning.

Gloria died on Tuesday the 7th of May, I know she will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

A flame that once burned with such passion and vitality flickered for just a short while and then quietly went out.

Lets now spend a few moments in silence and you can each remember Gloria in your own special way, and those of you that do have a religious faith might like to use this time for your own private prayer.

Eulogy Example - End


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