Roy died peacefully on Friday, January 10.
Beloved son of Phyllis Copperthwaite and Ed Jones, who await Roy in heaven.
Messages in memory of Roy Davis
January 17, 2020
I had the privilege of knowing Roy for just under 20 years. In this homily I want to share some reflections on how Roy impacted my understanding of life, and how these may speak to the place of Jesus in our lives.
From our Ecclesiastes reading: there is a time for war, and a time for peace. Roy was born in war-time - December 1943. This mounted front page of the Montreal Gazette from his birthday was precious to Roy. One of the columns was about the Italian Campaign. It was in that Italian Campaign that his father was killed. Thus it was that Roy never knew his biological father. Wonderfully Ed stepped in, and alongside Phyllis, raised Roy as if he were his own son. Seeing the re-built family over the years brought home to me that Jesus too was born in a time of strife and conflict; Jesus did not have a biological father on earth. It takes a village to raise a child. As the village of Nazareth came forward to raise Jesus, the village as we might call it in St. Laurent gathered around Roy and his family. The photographs displayed on the slideshow in the lobby bear witness to how they did this for over 50 years. So for us today, think about, look around - are there children who, in some way or other, are fatherless in their lives? Are there things we could do to be part of a village to raise them?
Several of the photographs in the slideshow portray Roy with his motorbike, often with friends. If you look really closely, you'll see that he had a Made in Britain AJR bike, when his friends had the more common BSA or Triumph. In the last few years, I used to bring Roy from St. Laurent to the Men's Breakfast at our church in the West Island. The journeys of 30 minutes each way gave time for some interesting observations and conversations. Several times I heard stories of motor bike adventures. And when I told him that we had seen an AJR motorbike at the Black Country Museum in the United Kingdom, his eyes fairly sparkled. A special memory of his - told to me several times - was of a road trip to the Maritimes - returning undaunted in pouring rain. As I travel to see friends and relatives living the Maritimes, and I take part in an annual bike tour in New Brunswick, I could relate to that story - and the pouring rain. An accident not long after the road trip left Roy with physical and mental disabilities. But in being able to tell that story years later, a usually-dormant part of his personality was able to wake up- and his whole personality changed for a time. Stories are a big part of our human life. Jesus told stories to his followers, he listened to their stories and accounts - and his followers continued the tradition. Let us make time in our lives to listen to the stories of those who wish to tell them - and maybe encourage those who have a story but are fearful of telling it. And let us be prepared to share our own stories, and the stories of Jesus, and the story of Jesus in our lives. From Ecclesiastes: This is a part of being happy, enjoying ourselves as long as we live. And if you want to practice storytime, there will be nowhere better than the reception after this service.
Roy's accident left him with a physical disability. At times, watching him walk, it almost looked as though his leg was back-to-front. And yet for years, he walked to the bus stop and used regular transit to get to work - sometimes he had a car ride part-way. There is a photograph of him bowling, with Phyllis at his side. After the accident he spent quite some time at the Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre. In 2015, I too was hit by a car, and it was me who was spending time at the Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre. Roy was tickled pink at finding that the two of us were both clients of what is now the Lethbridge - Layton - Mackay Rehabilitation Centre. The staff had changed, the location had changed, the programs had changed, the tools and materials had changed - but the underlying ethos was still the same - to equip people to be part of regular life. For those with disabilities - and in a microsecond that could be any one of one us - there is a time to weep, and time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. For the family, friends, neighbours and church members around someone with a disability, there are times to seek, to sow, to embrace.
As we move forward, let us build on what was experienced in Roy's life. Are there fatherless or orphans that we could help raise as part of the world's Village? Can we make time to share stories, both in listening and telling? Is there someone with a disability that we can embrace? We do this in the knowledge that "it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil". Amen
January 15, 2020
I will miss Roy. We have had some great chats, laughs.
I call him the master of the one liners.
I admired him so much. He knew how to just go with the flow. No matter what. From Roy, I have learned to quit complaining, put my big girl pants on, and get on with things.
Loved going for beer and burgers. Miss you Roy.