[Note: three weeks after Charles Bentley's death, a memorial service was held at the Burke Mountain Club in East Burke, Vermont. Present were his friends from Vermont, as well as family including his grandchildren, Paul, Tim and Pamela, who were not able to attend the service held at College Harbor in Florida. Tim delivered the eulogy that follows.]

 

Shoebox

 

By Tim Bentley

 

A Shoebox sits up in the attic, and might now be collecting a little dust.

Inside is an assortment of memories. Memories of my own, and memories of

the man whom we are here to celebrate.

 

-Postcards: A majority of the Shoebox is occupied by postcards. Cards from

all the world over with my Grandfatherís scribble covering the back, telling

me where he was, what he was up to and ending with expressions of love. ĖIím

remembering my parents having me save each as the came in the mail, and Iím

so glad the did. Iím so glad that I had them to save.

 

-Letters: A rolled up folder also rests in the Shoebox. Letters from and to

my grandfather. Some from many years ago, others from as recent as a week

before he passed away. Many of the letters were exchange through e-mail.

And I admired him for, among other things, his ability to learn to use his

computer. Almost weekly I would expect the letter from him, and I would

reply promptly. I am so happy that he and I managed to keep up such a

correspondence.

 

-Tickets: In the Shoebox are also the tickets which flew me down to Florida

to visit him, exactly one year to the hour previous to his passing. I will

of course hold this trip close to my heart. This was the last time I saw

him.

 

-East Burke: Many childhood memories are recollected and centered in this

town. Ones which I never thought Iíd remember come back to me. He loved

this place as many of you know. And I am glad that we could hold this

service here, it is what he would have wanted.

 

These things and more are held in that Shoebox, held for the future me to

rediscover. And when I do, the knowledge that he died well, with pride, with

full mind, and heart shall comfort me. I loved him as we all did, he defined

for me the meaning of a great man. And he shaped more of myself than he

knew. You all know he was a great man. Someone I will always look to be

more like. I love him for all he gave and meant to me; and everyone.

 

Thank You.