My Uncle Orland died May 21st. I wrote previously about the influence my immediate family has had on my intellectual development. During the celebration of life, I was reminded of the many positive influences Uncle Orland and Aunt Ilda had on my life. They took me regularly to the Camera Club in town to see pictures and hear stories of adventures people had from around the world, for which I am immensely grateful! Uncle Orland was a free spirit who did many odd jobs and tied me into that wonderful history of my family who were often local jack-of-all-trades providing handyman services to others, as much for the love of the creative challenge and opportunity to serve as anything.
From his obituary:
Orland cherished the time spent on his farm in Benton Harbor, tending to his fruit trees, the land and his beautiful flower gardens. He enjoyed going to garage sales and auctions, looking for that unusual item or something that he could repair to working condition for the challenge of doing so. He enjoyed antiques, not for the monetary value, but because of his appreciation for the technology that went into the design.
The pastor spoke of Uncle Orland’s work as one of redemption, recognizing he didn’t do it for the monetary value but because of the history, the creativity, and in some cases the family ties that were inherent in the artifact. In several cases he’s passed on to me and my boys some of those items, both plants and tools, with a clear charge that we are to cherish and preserve that work into the future. Several of the tools continue to remind me of my family history as they hang in my wood shop.
I heard recently that our lives are a song. Uncle Orland sang a wonderful one and I’ll miss him greatly!