Friday, July 18, 2014

Frederick Ernest Pask (1923-2014)

Frederick and his daughter Janet, 
taken at Janet's 40th wedding anniversay 
on 29th March 2003

This information relates to the main Lincolnshire tree - descendants of Johannis [John] and Elizabeth Pask née Archer, who lived in Lincolnshire.

Sadly, on Monday 6th May 2014, Frederick Ernest Pask, Stuart's brother died. His cremation took place on Wednesday 16th July at the Seven Hills Crematorium, and afterwards there was a service of thanksgiving and celebration at the Salvation Army Citadel, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

A Tribute was written by his daughter Janet Thornhill and read by her son Lieutenant Commander Stephen Thornhill. It read:
How do you sum up the life of a beloved Parent who has lived a full life for 91 years? It’s not an easy task, but hard though it is I would like to honour my father by trying to do just that.

My father was born Frederick Ernest Pask on 13th March 1923, at Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir, Leicester, where he lived with his parents and their then four children - Harold, Evelyn, James, and Dad. Stuart, his youngest brother, was born seven years later.
The family moved to Nottingham while Dad was still a schoolboy, and as he would tell you himself, he was not at all academic ― in fact he heartily disliked school!!  Dad came from a family of Engineers ― his father was an Engineer, as were all his brothers, so no-one was surprised when Dad became an Engineer too.

By 1941, everyone was involved in war work, so the whole family were directed to move on yet again to Newport, Monmouthshire. Dad had started his Trade Apprenticeship, which he continued at the Royal Ordnance Factory. At the end of which his Trade Apprenticeship Certificate confirms:
 "Character very Good, Ability Very Good, Timekeeping Good" followed by "This Apprentice did very well........and as a result was awarded a Merit Scholarship".

Marriage to my mother Elsie followed, and early on in their marriage my parents were bereaved by the loss of their first child ― their baby son Michael, who died by accident. Dad never forgot Michael, and he was remembered every birthday and Christmas for the rest of Dad's life. Later, I came along, followed soon afterwards by Dad being conscripted at the end of his Apprenticeship to join the Army, where he saw service in Ireland and Malta, achieving the rank of Sergeant. He was very proud of his own military service, so he was immensely proud when my son Stephen later chose a career in the Royal Navy.

After being discharged from the Army, Dad resumed his career as an Engineer, commencing work with British Railways as a Fitter ― an arduous and strenuous job working round the clock shifts in all weathers. It was here he developed his life-long love affair with Steam Trains. War work at an end, the family returned to their roots and moved back to Nottingham, Dad transferring his employment to British Railways Toton Depot.

One of my earliest memories was Dad taking me to the Railway Depot on Friday afternoons after he'd worked on the night-shift all week ― to collect his wages.  To a small girl of three, this was such an exciting place to be, with giant Steam Engines making loud whistles and noises, and puffing clouds of smoke, and he carried me around the depot in his arms or on his shoulders because it was too dangerous to let me wander around. If I was a good girl he'd persuade one of his train-driver pals to let him take me onto the footplate for a ride (completely against all the rules of course!) showing me where they shovelled the coal into the fiery furnace, which got so hot the drivers could fry eggs on the shovel for their breakfast! He taught me the names of the engines ― which were always known to be ladies and called ‘she’. To a small child, absolute magic.

In those days, times were hard and money was short, so Dad worked all hours to make extra money for the family. But he was generous with what he had, and I well remember Dad giving me his last half-a-crown to send me on a school trip, which was meant to be his money for the week. What Dad loved to do above all else when he wasn't working hard was to go to his beloved Salvation Army. A passionate and enthusiastic Salvationist, we went along every Sunday. Dad played the Double Bass, and sang in the Songsters, and I of course went to Sunday School, joined the Singing Company, and played the tambourine.  Always willing to serve, Dad was commissioned as Recruiting Sergeant in June 1961.

Life changed significantly for my Father in 1965 when his marriage ended, and it changed again in March 1966, when Dad married Doris, who most of you will also have known very well indeed. Known to their numerous friends and Salvationists alike as "Doris and Fred" they both worked tirelessly for the Salvation Army for many years and had an enduring and very happy marriage for 36 years.

Now there was time for family, holidays and enjoyment of their two Grandchildren, five Great-Grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. There were trips abroad with the Band, a visit to Oberammergau to see the famous Passion Play, and most memorably a visit to the Holy Land.

My father's health was not without problems, and always having had severe arthritis accelerated by his strenuous job the arthritis took more and more of a hold, so major surgery was required. He was eventually forced to retire early in 1985 but Doris and Fred carried on their service to the Salvation Army devoting most of their spare time to its service. Altogether Dad served in the Band and Songsters for over 50 years, in addition to which he was also Recruiting Sergeant for many years whilst Doris served for many years as Home League Secretary.

Dad and Doris loved entertaining, and were famous for cramming loads of people into their little bungalow, with Doris cooking up a storm, feeding delicious food to everyone. Christmases were particularly memorable - everyone was welcome. However, very sadly, Doris suddenly passed away most unexpectedly in April 1999, which really was a dreadful blow for Dad. However, Dad was blessed to be part of a close community in Nuthall, where he and Doris had made many friends, and he also had close connections with his local Church in Nuthall. Eventually though, Dad moved from his bungalow into a Sheltered Housing flat in Basford for extra support.

As his health problems mounted, and following many admissions to Hospital with falls and mini-strokes, Dad eventually decided he wanted to move down to sunny East Anglia in 2010, to be nearer to us, my family having lived here for some years  a brave move I'm sure you will agree. But he embraced the change and eventually settled into the slower pace of life here in East Anglia, transferring to worship at Ipswich Citadel. Dad loved to socialise and looked forward so much to the Cameo Club lunches where, as is always the case with the Army, he was welcomed with open arms and made many friends.  Ever an issue, his mobility continued to deteriorate and he became confined to his wheelchair. Numerous admissions to Ipswich Hospital forced Dad to reluctantly agree that on the advice of the Hospital he needed to accept professional full-time care.  We were blessed to find a superb Residential Care Home, Maynell House, Felixstowe. Here he was cared for during the last 3 years of his life with the utmost patience kindness and consideration - for which my family and I will always be eternally grateful. The wonderful carers at Maynell House deserve the highest praise for their skill and dedication, especially the last three difficult months of tender loving care. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

So how can we sum up my father's life?   A man of profound faith, a much-loved father, husband, brother, Grandparent and Great-grandparent. A friend to all, as the many people he helped throughout his life will testify ― in short,  ‘a life Well lived’. His pain has now gone away, and he has gone to his reward in heaven. However, there really will be a large Fred-shaped hole in all our lives.        Thank you Dad.

Fred, taken in Malta, during WWII