Nicholas Daniel (Nic) Templeton-Palmer (13 Jun 1964 - 22 Jun 2014)

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Funeral Service

Location
Exeter & Devon Crematorium, St Paul's Chapel Topsham Road Exeter EX2 6EU
Date
30th Jun 2014
Time
3.15pm

In loving memory of the late Nic Templeton-Palmer who sadly passed away on 22nd June 2014, loving son, brother, uncle and friend. Nic was diagnosed with cancer in Septemeber 2013, despite this he suceeded in taking a trekking in Nepal with a best friend. He manged to remain independent and live at home with the support of family and Crediton Hospicecare. He was admitted to Exeter Hospice on Friday 20th June and died peacefully on the Sunday surrounded by his family.

Nic was born in Thorpe Hall, near Peterborough on June 13th, 1964, to the late Sue and her husband Pat. He was a carpenter, he loved trees, he went to many a party and a camping trip in the woods and liked to work outside, usually as a roofer but also to make wooden furniture and carved. He expressed his life force with individuality and sensitivity, creatively as Cinnic 13 and mischievously as someone who never really grew up. His was a complex character: he was anarchic and non-conformist, he shunned greed and materialism, yet he was hard working and loved to make beautiful things with quality materials; he was artistically experimental and abstract but he approached the construction of a new roof with careful mathematical precision. He lived his life with warmth and humour, intelligence and talent. He also had a soft, peaceful side to his nature as well and the family have received many condolence cards commenting on Nic’s gentle, shy and very accepting ways.

His death leaves a huge gap in our lives but it’s important to acknowledge that those feelings are a measure of the man he was. Nic was incapable of being anything other than – honestly and genuinely – himself; he was a free spirit. He couldn’t have given us a greater gift and we loved him for it.

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  • Our wedding day......RIP Nic

    Posted by C on 13/01/2015 Report abuse
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Sharon D wrote

Nics Eulogy read by Alison Orchard - Humanist Celebrant

Music to enter: ‘India Heart’ by Nic

We have gathered here today to say our goodbyes to Nic Templeton-Palmer, who was inspired to write this music by his trips to India and Nepal. We have a sad task ahead of us but it is one we will do in a spirit of love, gratitude and celebration.

It matters that you are all here today: your presence is a testament to Nic’s life and a tribute to his gift for love and friendship. But it is more than that, because, as you unite in grief, your presence supports and comforts others. A warm welcome to you all.

It is a privilege to join you today. My name is Alison Orchard and I am a celebrant with the British Humanist Association. Humanism is a philosophy of life based on a concern for humanity and the natural world. Nic wasn’t a religious person. Thoughtful, spiritual and deep, however, his outlook seemed to encompass an earthy concept of life, which embraced all living things; all nature. I hope our simple ceremony today reflects Nic and respects his private and simple ways, without the fuss and hypocrisy he would have disliked. I hope, in that way, you will feel him close and be able to say your goodbyes in the peaceful, loving spirit that he would have wished.

And now, to honour that, I am going to read a piece written by the American writer and naturalist, Nic Burroughs

Reading:

Every walk to the woods is a religious rite, every bath in the stream is a saving ordinance. Communion service is at all hours, and the bread and wine are from the heart and marrow of Mother Earth.

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter...to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring—these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

The most precious things of life are near at hand, without money and without price. Each of you has the whole wealth of the universe at your very door. All that I ever had, and still have, may be yours by stretching forth your hand and taking it.

Nic was a carpenter, he loved trees, he went to many a party and a camping trip in the woods and liked to work outside, usually as a roofer but also to make wooden furniture and carved. He might appreciate, then, that we could liken our existence to a tree; the Tree of Life, perhaps. The human race is like the trunk and branches of this tree, and individual men and women are the leaves, which appear in spring and flourish at this time of year: an expression of the tree’s flowing sap and steadfast strength and an extension of a deeper, collective life force.

We can celebrate that Nic expressed his life force with individuality and sensitivity, creatively as Cinnic 13 and mischievously as someone who never really grew up, even! His was a complex character: he was anarchic and non-conformist, yet nothing gave him greater pleasure than watching Formula One whilst sharing a smoke and fish and chips with his Grandad; he shunned greed and materialism, yet he was hard working and loved to make beautiful things with quality materials; he was artistically experimental and abstract but he approached the construction of a new roof with careful mathematical precision; he was surprisingly tidy and organised for a punk! He lived his life with warmth and humour, intelligence and talent; as Vince wrote, ‘with the box open, who cares what might come; prolific, awesome and epic. Alice is at home having tea.’ But there was a softer, peaceful side to his nature as well and Sharon has received many condolence cards commenting on Nic’s gentle, shy and very accepting ways.

His death leaves a huge gap in your lives and I know people feel deeply sad and cheated but it’s important to acknowledge that those feelings are a measure of the man he was. Nic was incapable of being anything other than – honestly and genuinely – himself; he was a free spirit. He couldn’t have given you a greater gift and you loved him for it.

Here is his story.

Nicholas Daniel Templeton-Palmer was born in Thorpe Hall, near Peterborough, half a century ago, on June 13th, 1964, to the late Sue and her husband Pat. Nic wrote, ‘My Mum was loving, as was my rock’n’roll hippie Dad. I was the second of four children, my brother the eldest and two sisters.’ Vince was his older brother by 13 months and he remembers playing with his younger brother. Nic’s sister, Sharon was born 2 years later and, with three children under 5, Pat and Sue soon moved to March in Cambridgeshire, in the same market town as Nic’s Nan and Grandad. Jo -Ann was born 9 years later to complete their family.

Nic had a happy childhood and he had fond memories of cows at the top of the hill, of dissecting bees and the shop at the corner as well as watching the moon landing on TV, playing with his action man in the garden and Christmas; he was a fearless, mischievous boy who, happy with his own company, often disappeared. Other kids often congregated at their house to enjoy the tree house and super size paddling pool Pat built for the garden.

It was in these early days that Nic’s love of Dr Who, pedal and motor bikes and music, especially percussion and Top of the Pops, developed. He remembered his childhood as a time of wonder and expectations. He wrote, ‘I was at school, the Dartford Infants. I used to walk there every day with my brother or mum. This would involve walking past the GER football ground. It had and still has a corrugated fence. I used to rattle sticks along it. Great sound!’

Another sound Nic loved was that of drums. His favourite record as a boy was ‘Teenbeat’ by Sandy Nelson, something his Dad liked to play him and it was this album that inspired him to become a drummer. And now, in honour of that, we will pause to listen to it.

Music: ‘Teen Beat’ by Sandy Nelson

Nic was a sporty boy. Tall, wiry and fit, he captained both the rugby and the basket ball teams at school. But, despite a lively and enquiring mind, he found English difficult - he was probably dyslexic – and, shy and quiet, he had few friends. I had the impression that Nic found school difficult. Until, that is, he found a new and extra family; punk! Nic thought he grew up as a punk. He grew up to be a tall, slim young man, often with spiky hair!

With punk he found like minded friends and some of those friends remained with him all his life. He also found music he loved. His first punk gig was to see the UK Subs in Peterborough and, such was the amazing experience, he went to any gig he could then afford from his paper round and pocket money, often going to the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

Nic left school in 1980 and went to sign up for the Navy. He did a test which revealed he was far too intelligent for the role he’d wanted, so he was advised to go back to school to get some ‘O’ Levels. By all accounts he lasted two weeks before thinking, ‘What did I want to join the Navy for? I don’t want to drown’ It was at this point in his life that Nic became an apprentice carpenter and cabinet maker.

Always skilled with his hands, Nic was a good carpenter and he enjoyed working. Always physically fit and fearless, he found his vocation as a roofer.

Later he studied for an ‘A’ Level in Textile Art as a mature student, particularly focussing on silk screen printing. He enjoyed experimenting with shapes and colour and he painted and drew until the end of his life. He described it as a ‘great escape’.

Music was another enduring passion and it was in these days that Nic got his first drum kit. With Vince playing the guitar, it wasn’t long before they were jamming and the first band Nic played for was ‘Initial Prayer’. Nic not only played, he composed music, wrote lyrics and sung, always with the theme of ‘Anarchy is life’. He wrote, ‘Many things happened ......, life was chaos, not much money, not always happy, but it was fun and always lives on in the heart.’

And now we will pause to listen to a punk track Nic wrote in 2012 about a girl he saw whilst on a training course – she made his heart skip a beat .. but he didn’t know her name.

Music: ‘She Doesn’t Have a Name’ by Nic

With his friends scattering, no money and girl problems, Nic made a move to Worthing on the South coast in the 1990s. He married Christine in these days in a small and understated ceremony, Vince was a witness and he got into trouble for not telling their Mum about the occasion! Nic worked hard at this time and, forming and playing in a band, ‘Bad Habitz’, the weekends were just as full! Nic made some good friends in the Worthing years and he danced, raved and partied till dawn, loving the night sky and often waking up in the woods the following day; Nic was never a morning person. He was also able to indulge his love of cats. He had three cats; unfortunately, though, they didn’t get on and he had to keep them on different levels of the house, so there upstairs cats and downstairs cats... and never the twain did meet!

Difficult times hit Nic when his Mum and Nan died, he developed type 1 diabetes and he split with his wife. But work saw him through and he began the 21st century in a good frame of mind. He wrote, ‘I had my first real holiday abroad. Egypt in fact. This was good training ground for a later trip to NW India. I loved India, especially when I got into the mountains. In fact, when I got back to somewhere with people, I broke down in tears in the street.’

Unfortunately it was also the time when Nic got the first symptoms of heart failure, although, with an unusual condition, it was two years before it was properly diagnosed at Papworth Hospital. He spent a long time in hospital and, in that time, his left arm and shoulder weakened and withered. Unable to safely get up onto a roof or play the drums easily and very slow moving, he lost everything and was very let down by Social Services. Nic had a keen sense of social justice and was passionate about working rights, he supported "walk free" campaigns and championed human rights and it was very unfair that, at his time of need, he was treated so badly, especially as that was partly as a consequence of his total honesty.

Now we will pause to listen to Nic and Vince playing and singing a song Nic composed, ‘Dark Clouds’

Music: ‘Dark Clouds’ by Nic and Vince

His family came up trumps in hard times, though, and Nic moved back to the Fens and lived with his Grandad, someone he was very close to. Nic loved hearing about his Grandad’s experiences in the War as a prisoner of War in Japan and, as he aged, Nic became his ears and eyes. They had a fine old time together and Pat and Freda never needed to have their TV on, they could hear everything they needed to from next door. Nic helped to care for his granddad for the four years before he died. Nic was a loyal family man and always there if you needed him.

His Grandad’s death in 2010 was hard for him, but, in time Nic headed down to Devon to live with Sharon, Phil and Seamus in Black Dog. He was an easy house guest and was as much a friend as a brother and uncle. He was able to drive Sharon’s car which gave him some of his freedom back and, with his confidence slowly building, he joined an agency and was pleased to find carpentry work at Exeter College and with building houses in St Leonard’s; working on Exeter Cathedral with such wonderful materials was wonderful for him. And so it was that Nic was able to move into a bungalow on his own in Cheriton Fitzpaine.

Life was getting back to an even keel for Nic, he was enjoying having his own space, a cat and he had plans to visit India and Nepal again. Sadly in September of last year he was diagnosed with cancer. It was a cruel twist; it is a cruel disease. But Nic was determined to continue with his plans to visit India and Nepal.

Nic died – peacefully - at Exeter Hospice on the Sunday after midsummer’s day.... when the sun is at its height. As someone who loved astronomy, I think he would have appreciated that.

When I asked his family how they thought Nic might like to be remembered, they thought he would like to be remembered as a kind man and a good friend.

And now, a poem Nic wrote in 2008. It’s called ‘Love To....’

Reading:

‘Love To...’ by Nic

love to
all the good things in life
love to
family, friends and anybody else who means anything to me
love to
all cats, the birds and the bees
love to
all that help
and love to me
for putting up with all the sad and bad
love to
the music you’ve given to me
love to
eye-sight so I can see
love to
all things that happen to me
that make me
me.

Nic wanted to visit his Dad and Freda in the Hebrides and they will scatter his ashes off the islands shores in honour of that. He will continue to play his part in the cycle of nature and we have the sense of freedom for a free spirit.

Because we’re all part of the natural world, there is a way in which every day we have a slightly different relationship with each other and the world around us. Today you are saying your farewells to Nic. The sun will rise again tomorrow on another day of summer, and the abundance and colour of this time of year might remind you that, just as trees flourish and blossom because they are nourished by compost made from the vegetation of previous seasons, we all build on the lives that come before us. Nic has therefore made you a little bit of who you are.

But, in our turn, we also become the foundation of lives that come after ours. However hard this is for you, I hope you can turn back to life and engage with it fully. It will be the best affirmation of Nic’s life – and your life - you can make now. But don’t forget to remember him, perhaps when you marvel at the night sky or enjoy a walk in the woods as he loved to do. Nic’s final words written in his note book were;

“ When I`m gone and you have thoughts of me, that will be my soul on the wind (just say hello) “

I wish you well.

Thank you for sharing in our ceremony today. I hope we all go reminded how precious life is. Please enjoy a piece of music Nic wrote to accompany a short film he made after a trip to the USA to visit his Aunt Vinny and leave the chapel in your own time.

Nic,
The peace of the running water to you,
The peace of the flowing air to you,
The peace of the quiet earth to you,
The peace of the shining stars to you,
And the love and care of us all to you.

Music to leave

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"v" whilltesey wrote

Rest in peace my friend. i hope you do finally find some.

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