WILTSHIRE, EMERSON Peacefully on Monday September 17th, 2012 at Greater Niagara General Hospital at the age of 84 years. Predeceased by his loving wife May (Smith). Loving father of Dr. Les (Anne) Wiltshire of Richmond Hill and Sharron (Rick) Hudgens of Raleigh, North Carolina. Cherished grandfather of Danielle (Jessie) Bolder of Concord, North Carolina, Stephanie (Joshua) vanAlmen of Charlotte, North Carolina, Deanne and Courtney Wiltshire of Richmond Hill. Great grandfather of Alyse and Breeley vanAlmen of Charlotte, North Carolina and Jordan Bolder of Concord, North Carolina. Brother of Elva Robinson and Lila Russell of Dundalk and predeceased by brother John Wiltshire. He will be missed by nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces. Emerson served as a Lion for over 50 years and was a recipient of a lifetime membership award. If so desired donations may be made to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. On line guest register www.williamsfuneralhome.ca
The Memorial Service for dad took place on Friday September 28th. The service was directed by Pastor Karen Jenkins of St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ridgeway Canada. I want to express our appreciation to Pastor Karen for her kind words and the care extended to our family.
I was requested to share in the service by presenting an eulogy for the family. Here are some of the thoughts I shared:
As I stand before you today – I am privileged to share some thoughts about the life of Emerson Wiltshire. Em has been my father-in-law for 34 years. He has truly been my dad.
Dad loved his family – his entire family. His family was BIG – it included blood relatives; through marriage relatives; and many people who came into his life throughout the years. He loved Gray County – where he was born. He said to me “Gray County has purer air, greener grass, and bluer skies.” His family would tease him – “and deeper snow” – but it never swayed his opinion. Dad would spend hours telling stories of his family. He told about working the farm with his father, brother, and brother in laws. He spoke about fishing trips, with his brother and brother in laws. And cutting wood with his brother in law. Dad always included humor with his stories.
He loved his nieces and nephews; telling stories of when they were born, Dad and mom would often open their home for them to stay. In his last days, he spoke often of his time in Brampton with his nephew Ron; and how the “girls” were such a help to him. He was so happy when Brian and Bruce brought his sisters to visit him in the hospital this past summer. He was so proud of his nieces and nephews. He would tell my wife Sharron about how they were doing and all their accomplishments. Over the years, he would be at their home to help around the house with jobs that needed his attention. He loved visiting with them, in person or by phone. One of favorite things was when they would join him on a trip in the truck.
Dad was a man who possessed a tremendous work ethic. He always insisted that the job be done properly, the first time. I am not sure – but have a firm opinion that Les or Sharron were never allowed to sleep beyond 6am while they lived under his roof. And I was always amazed to hear how dad would always wash the truck after each trip, no matter the time of day or the temperature outside. Dad was a jack of all trades – I have seen him upholster furniture, building, mechanics, cooking and even sowing.
Over the past 34 years I have been given the privilege of serving at several churches.
Examples: (1) Constructed wheel chair ramp) (2) Developed “pulley system” for Easter musical
(3) Built bookshelves for me that are still in use today.
But he often said he could not do wood working as well as his brother John.
I saw a sign yesterday that reminded me of dad. It said: “You can do it my way or the wrong way.”
Dad was the person who would mow his yard while walking with 2 canes – his work with the Lions and recently his work for the Cancer Society – Dad was the person who gave and gave to his family and friends.
I must admit that Dad was a little OCD. Examples: His lawn, his car, his trunk. Ask any child who ever rode in his car. And apparently he seems to be a little accident prone. I heard that following an accident in the truck – his granddaughter Deanne – who was 5 at the time – told her teacher that “Grandpa jumped off a bridge.”
Stories: (1) Attempt to bond with Les and Dad in garage. (Secret language)
(2) Shortly after Sharron and I were married – intimidation – counsel – LIST – he loved it!
I am so thankful to dad for his daughter and my wife – Sharron. She has so many traits of her dad. He taught her to never feel that being a woman was an excuse for not learning certain things. To this day, Sharron knows more about automobiles than I do – hear a noise – she diagnoses the problems. I wish I had known dad when he taught Sharron to drive an 18 wheeler.
Dad always loved to laugh and found humor in most things. He has even said to me, I don’t waste my time picking on someone I don’t like. I wish I had known dad in his early years. I have heard the story of him taking his horse into the one room school he was attending. Some story of how mischievous he was when he took his future wife, May home to meet his family.
Story: I remember when I first met Mr. Wiltshire – and he asked me if I had ever heard his daughter burp – she sounds like a camel.
Story: The last week of his life Karen commented on his skinny legs and he said,” I know, looks like I won’t make the team this year.”
I want to close with this thought – Dad deeply loved his two sisters – Elva and Lila. Elva and dad were 2 peas from the same pod. She basically raised dad since he was a young child. Dad cared so much for Lila, and tried to be there for her over the years – and was so happy when she came to spend 2 weeks with him after Sharron’s injury. Dad loved his son and daughter. He shared his life with Les and the man Les is today is a tribute to the life of Emerson Wiltshire. Sharron is a gift to me and I thank God for knowing her father. Dad loved his grandchildren. You could see evidence of that in every picture of him with Danielle, Stephanie, Deanne and Courtney. His eyes gleamed with pride and admiration – and love. Dad loved Alyse, Breeley and Jordan (his great grandchildren) – as he held them in his arms in his last years. Dad loved his entire – and extended family. This past year Sharron has spent over 7 months in Canada to be with her dad. Les has given almost every weekend to be with dad. In his last days a close friend – Ray – would come to the hospital and sit by the bed to visit with dad. He would read the words to some of dad’s favorite hymns: The Old Rugged Cross; A mighty fortress is our God; and a less familiar song – Lord, I’m coming home. Dad was so ready to go home. It is with the hope of salvation that today we mourn with the blessed hope – that Emerson Wiltshire lived a good life – has left a heritage of family and has finally gone home – and today – no more pain or sorrow, he smiles from Heaven.
I realize that this posting is quite long. But I feel that I should give an additional insight about the song I referenced above. Here is a clip that I encourage you to watch and consider: