Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What a wonderful world........ oh yeah.......

Louis Armstrong crooned this in the funeral chapel on Monday towards the completion of PoppyDon's funeral service.

It pretty much summed up PoppyDon's approach to life.

His was a lovely service, with "no bullshit", as was PoppyDon's request. Overseeing the celebration of a life well lived was Annie Laurie. Annie is a retired nun(?), grief counsellor & representative of the "Make Today Count" organisation, which helps people with life-limiting & terminal illness. She is a genuinely caring, compassionate & honest woman, without the sleek oiliness that can sometimes be apparent in people who choose to stand out the front in church. She officiated at a funeral that PoppyDon had attended: he requested her presence for his own. He's always been a good judge of character.

It was a sad, yet positive occassion.

The first song that was played was for PoppyDon & NannyVal. Nat King Cole crooned "When I fall in Love"; it was a beautiful start, and the lyrics are true. When Don fell in love with 14yrold Valmai, he had to wait until her parents decided she was old enough to marry at 19. He really did mean that "it would be completely.... and forever" . And she was certainly worth the wait.

My Beloved delivered a heartfelt eulogy about his dad: I am so proud of him. <3, <3, <3.
10 grandchildren all stood up the front supporting each other as 3 grandsons & 1 granddaughter shared their thoughts about their Pop.

The grandsons then all walked their Pop out to the waiting hearse. It was good planning to have 6 grandsons, wasn't it? Actually, in 1992, 18yrold grandson, Michael, died in tragic circumstances, and PoppyDon told me that "he didn't like having an odd number of grandchildren, & could I please provide him with another grandson, please?" Of course, I was happy to oblige: Vboy is the result.

Over 200 people attended. A measure of the man indeed.

His favourite toast was "Happy Days". I can't recall him ever saying another.

Some other excerpts:

“Some people walk in and out of our lives
without making an impression…
Others stay a while and make the time
to leave footprints on our hearts…
and we are never the same again.”

Donald John Kavanagh
Born: 18 July 1927 in Adamstown, NSW
Died: 28 October 2008
Aged 81 Years

• Don was the fourth born child to Jack & Molly Kavanagh and brother to
Patty, Veronica (Bubby), Del, Nola & John.
• Well Known as ‘Kav’ to his mates, Don was raised in Adamstown where
he completed school and served his apprenticeship as a motor mechanic.
• On the 13th January 1951, Don married Valmai and fathered four
children Owen, Kristine, Susan & Darren. He became grandfather to
Michelle, Michael, Justin, Keith, Daniel, Abby, Joshua, Sophie, Eloise,
Jack & Reece and great grandfather to Micha, Amelia & Mackenzie.

• After working as an NRMA Road Service Patrolman for most of his
career, Don semi‐retired and continued his passion of restoring motor
cars. Winning a number of awards for his efforts, Don was recognised as
a superior tradesman by car restoration clubs.

• Some of Don’s favourite expressions were; tops, beaut, immaculate and
“get your hands off my car”. The best of all expressions made by him
was “Happy Days”.
• Don was a keen sports enthusiast, with a particular interest for all sports
involving motor cars and motor bikes.

• Known for his optimism Don always saw the glass half‐full and was
happy to help his family, relatives and friends when in need. Don was
dignified, proud, loyal, fair, fun, a larrikin, positive, hard working and

• Always a gentleman and loving husband to Val, Don will be sadly
missed by his family and friends.

The programme won't let me copy the great photo of PoppyDon that is on the order of service, and believe it or not, there are no pictures on this computer. I've even been looking through my old posts as I know I blogged some after Pop's 80th birthday, but do you think I can find them: no way. I have written a lot of stuff, though........

Oh well, I'll find one later........

To quote a great man:

Happy Days!


Tania said...

Beautiful personal service, full of love

Anonymous said...

I'm glad it was so beautiful. It certainly does sound like a celebration of his life, like all funerals should be. I imagine the songs were heart renching. Lois always makes me cry.

Hugs and love to you xXx

Jewell said...

what a beautiful post..thanks Cyndy...had tears in my eyes when reading it xxxx