A Service for Douglas Powell

Linn Crem Wednesday 17/2/2021 9.45am

ELSIE, STEPHEN AND GILL AND OTHER MEMBERS OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GATHER HERE TODAY WISH TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE MANY FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO CANNOT GATHER HERE TODAY AND TO THANK THEM FOR ALL THEIR SUPPPORT DURING HEART BREAKING TIMES.  THERE WILL BE A TIME IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE WHEN THE WARMTH OF A HUG WILL AGAIN BE PRECIOUS TO US.

We have come to this place of remembrance to offer a dignified thanksgiving for the life gifted to Douglas Powell.  Douglas, Dougie, as he was best known, died at home on Sunday 31st January aged 90 years.  We know that Dougie was not in good health and his health had been deteriorating in recent times; we appreciate that his life has very naturally drawn to a close but that does not mean that we shall not miss him or grieve for him.  Indeed, Dougie has depended on us for care and supported, our lives have been so deeply intertwined with his that we are going to feel that sense of loss so very acutely.

Today we take some time to recall to mind all that we shared with Dougie, to express gratitude for the love and friendship and neighbourliness he has shown to each of us.  Such memories are precious to us and in them we will find some comfort and strength for the journey ahead of us

Today we also take some time to remember God’s words of promise concerning the gift of eternal life and find in His words hope to sustain us.

So, let’s remind ourselves of the promises our Heavenly Father has made:

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that those who believe in him should not perish but have Eternal life.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who in his great mercy gave us a new birth into a living hope by his resurrection from the dead.

Prayer

God of all comfort, in this time of distress and grief, we have come to tell you of our sorrow, and to rest ourselves within the embrace of your love. From on high you look upon your creation and we are pleasing in your sight.  You despise nothing of what you made.  Set us free from our restlessness and our doubts; raise our downcast spirits from the turmoil they are in now.  Allow your steadfast love to bring peace to our hearts and minds through Christ the Lord. AMEN.

READINGS

Psalm 139

Romans 8: 35

ADDRESS

Dougie was born on 2nd June 1930 to Caerphilly, South Wales.  He was raised as an only child in what was substantially a mining community.  In many respects he was fortunate to grow up within such a tight knit community and in other ways the struggles that mining communities faced meant that life could be quite hard.  There was always work to be had in the Pitts and many a young lad simply followed in his father’s footsteps to work at the colliery; but Dougie’s parents had different plans for their son.

I suspect they had to work hard to afford their son the Private Education he received in Cardiff but their sacrifices paid off in the long run.  Dougie was not oblivious to the events of the Second War that took place through his teenage years.  If anything, it inspired him to be a pilot in the RAF.  I’m not sure if Dougie simply did make the grade to be a pilot or if the end of the war simply reduced the need for pilots.  Either way Dougie trained as an Aircraft Engineer and he excelled at it.  Dougie thrived on the demanding exacting standards required of Aircraft Engineers.  He completed five years’ service in the RAF and began looking for new endeavours.

Going in to car mechanics might have been an obvious, maybe too obvious a choice.  Dougie had always been the most obliging of young men who willingly used his talents as an aircraft engineer to help mend and repair his friends and neighbours’ cars. He came across as a mechanical genius and never asked for any reward or payment.  But it was not to be. Sales work seemed to be a more lucrative form of employment.

Dougie was just getting established in Sales when he met Elsie.  Like many young folk Elsie and Dougie enjoyed a night at the dances, sometimes travelling from one dance hall to another on the same evening.  Dougie pulled up in his car and offered a group of girls a lift to the next dance hall.  Even though they didn’t know him they jumped in to the car and headed off together.  In gentlemanly manner Dougie also took them all home.  And the next night he appeared at Elsie’s front door to ask her out.  It just goes to show that sometimes accepting a lift from a stranger can work out really well. Elsie and Dougie soon discovered they were right for each other and entered into marriage on Valentine’s Day 14 February 1955; that’s 65 years married last Valentine’s Day!

They rapidly established a home life together and were blessed with two children – a son Stephen and a daughter Gill.   The family were still young when Dougie took on new employment with RotoPrint in their Glasgow office.  The family moved to East Kilbride in 1968 – it was a bit of a culture shock but they all adjusted and settled in after a bit of time.  Dougie missed Ernie a lot.  They were cousins that were more like brothers and there is no telling the tricks and pranks and adventures they got up to together.  The banter between them was fantastic and the ongoing Curry Competition at times got a little out of hand.  Ernie missed Dougie too.

Dougie immersed himself in work at RotoPrint and to an extent it was his undoing.  He was terrible at delegating and seemed to work more and more hours.  Elsie and the kids missed him a lot.  He was a good dad, always kind and understanding, never strict but there were times they wished he had been home more.  In 1984 Dougie became seriously ill and had to undergo brain surgery.  He was never as strong a man again, he never worked again.  From that moment on Elsie devoted herself to caring for and supporting Dougie and she has done the most amazing job.

Even though Elsie was determined to support Dougie to the utmost of her ability she in turn needed support from friends and neighbours.  Family would like to thank those who have been so kind over so many years without whom Dougie and Elsie’s situation would have been so different and so difficult.

It had always been a dream to enjoy a villa in Portugal as a summer holiday destination which would have been so different to the holidays when Stephen and Gill were young; holidays up into the Highlands or over to Mallaig, staying on farms and B&B – they were good holidays if you could cope with the rain and the midges.  Dreams like that evaporated when Dougie became ill – it takes time to adjust to loss and new circumstances.

Music had always been part of Dougie’s life.  He had been blessed with a good singing voice himself even if it was simply singing in the bath that he enjoyed most.  He listened to a lot of music from all kinds of genres; classical to the Carpenters, Shirley Bassey to Barbara Streisand and Mama Cass, Cass Elliot of the Mammas and Pappas.  He enjoyed whatever moved his soul or caused him to sing. 

Dougie was delighted to see Stephen and Gill grow into adulthood and find relationships of their own.  Susan and Garry have been made so welcome within the family circle and the blessing of grandchildren brought a new and much needed vitality to living.  

Grandsons in Australia have prepared a short video for today’s service which we are going to play for you now.  It lasts for 6 or 8 minutes so do sit comfortably as we begin.

Video from Grandsons in Australia

Prayer

Gracious God, your purposes for all is that they might see good in their lives, goodness which stems from you. Nothing can separate us from you, neither life nor death, nor things present, nor things to come, we offer you thanks and praise for all that you have done through Jesus Christ the Lord. By giving him to live and die for us, you have made known your ways to all the world, showing that your love has no limit. By raising him from the dead you have shown that those who believe in him will also share the resurrection life.

Lord we come to thank you for the life gifted to Dougie and the good fortune we have had of sharing in his life.

We think on his young life growing up in Caerphilly and the good fortune he had of a private education in Cardiff.  His parents wanting to afford him every opportunity in life to do well.

We thank you for the skills he learned in the RAF as an aircraft engineer and the way he so kindly helped friends and neighbours with those skills mending cars, keeping people moving and asking nothing in return.

We thank you for his working life in sales, the long hours he worked and his dedication to the job in hand, a desire to be successful,  a desire to support his family and we remember the stress he put himself under to meet the demands he placed upon himself.

We thank you for married life with Elsie through 65 years together, love that has stood the test of time, love that has faced the demands of sickness and health, better or worse, richer or poorer and grown stronger.  Love that provided a home for their children Stephen and Gill to grow up in and find security and support.  We thank you for Dougie’s love as a father.

We think on his love as a grandfather and his constant desire to know what was happening with them, his desire to know and love them and encourage them in life.

We thank you for his love of music, the joy and pleasure it brought to his soul and the peace he found within it.

For holidays and times for fun, for Curry Competitions and practical jokes, for banter and laughter and everything that made Dougie who he was we thank you.

In quietness now we come with our own memories of Dougie and together we place him into the everlasting arms of His Heavenly Father…

Lord God, we thank you Lor for hearing our prayers and for receiving Dougie into your eternal keeping.  Guard him, protect him, watch over him until we are with him again in Heaven.

The Crematorium Committal (Music – Abide with me)

We have entrusted Dougie Powell into the hands of God, and now we commit his body to be cremated, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; having our whole trust and confidence in the mercy of our Heavenly Father and in the victory of his son Jesus Christ the Lord, who died, was buried, and rose again for us and is alive and reigns for ever and ever.

Prayers for the bereaved

Lord Jesus we bring to you now those who feel the pain of loss.  Be gracious to them in their time of bereavement bring light into their hearts during their time of mourning.  For we see that you are the only one who can change the shadow of death into the brightness of a new morning.  For even in the midst of darkness and distress you can restore hope and faith.

Benediction

The peace of God, which passes our utmost understanding keep guard over your hearts and thoughts in Jesus Christ the Lord; and the blessing of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, be with you all.