Memorial for David Jones delivered by Rev. Diane Rollert on September 8, 2007
David was one who had an eye for such mysteries: He had an eye for the full-starred heavens that the winter sees, for the heights of the mountains where he skied with joy, and for the beauty of the oceans and lakes he sailed.
He had an ear and a big heart for the delicate and gentle laughter of children and then grandchildren crawling beside him on the floor, for the complex harmonies of Bach and the haunting arias of Puccini, for the constant, abiding love of family, of friends, and of everyone whose lives he touched.
David was a Welshman who loved to sing.
He is remembered as a gentleman with a razor sharp sense of humour.
He was the quintessential grandfather to his own grandchildren and all the children who grew up knowing him here in the Religious Education program.
Even as he struggled over the years with Parkinsons Disease, he never lost his spark. Having spent much of his youth in the North Wales he remained fiercely proud of his Welsh heritage.
As a very young man, he traveled the world as a merchant marine. Then in 1951, at the age of 21, he signed up to bring a small boat to Canada, just to see a bit of this country.
Perhaps it was when he met a lovely young co-worker at Cassidy’s named Sally that he decided to readjust his plans. Within a year they were married, and, then later, the lights of his life, Susan, Wendy-Anne and Griff were born.
David settled into his work as a manufacturer’s agent, traveling the world, making friends wherever he went, and still finding time to become actively involved in the Unitarian communities of Montreal and the West Island.
Charming and kind, David never had a harsh word to say about anyone. In the 1960s when the Lakeshore Unitarian Church got too big and ran out of room, it was David, along with Sally, who opened the Northshore Fellowship.
As founder and then president of the fellowship, it wasn’t unusual for David to get phone calls at all hours of the day and night – phone calls he always answered cheerfully.
“When he was needed, he went,” Sally told me.
And from what I can see, he kept his sense of humour too.
Witness this message he wrote in September of 1965 to the Northshore Fellowship:
“You really are a good group and I publicly withdraw all the harsh things I said on July 15th, when Sally and I were the only people to turn up for George and Shirley Dickons’ session on beautifying the Hall. Two valuable lessons were learnt that evening: One, don’t try to hold meetings in July, and two, Shirley makes the best Daiquiri this side of Puerto Rico!"
David loved history and he was a passionate humanist. He had great faith in the good works of humanity and he lived his life true to his faith, always caring for others – a real Unitarian to the end.
Most of all, what mattered to David, was family. He loved his wife and his children and his grandchildren, Alexandra, Emma, Jaya, Annie and William, as well as his sons-in-law and daughter-in-law.
Given his British upbringing, he wasn’t one to show his emotions, but his family knew just how very much he loved them.
To Sally’s surprise, David had held on to one particular Christmas card – a card that she had given to him many years ago.
She told me that she didn’t write it, but the words expressed everything she wanted to say about David.
“Happy Holidays with all my love,” the card begins... “Each year around the holidays,
I take a long look at what I’ve got.
This year, I’ve got plenty to be thankful for.
I love you and I could never ask for a more precious gift.
You’ve made me laugh even when I felt like crying;
you’ve listened to me...even when I didn’t make much sense;
you’ve hugged me even when I didn’t deserve it.
But most of all, you’ve loved me when I wasn’t sure I loved myself.
With a gift like you, I could never ask for anything more.”
David’s life was a gift to all who knew him and loved him.
In Blackwater Woods
Trevor Jones (brother)
Wendy Anne Jones (daughter)