In fond memory of Uncle Frank, a wonderful husband to our Aunty Brenda. With love from Melanie, Louise, Anton and Janine and all the family x x x x
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FrankNHS Charities Together
In loving memory of Frank John Leeds who sadly passed away on 19th April 2020
Please see the script from Franks Funeral today for those who were unable to attend
Funeral Script for Frank John Leeds
Date and Time: Tuesday 12th May 2020, 12:45pm
Location: Croydon Crematorium, East Chapel
The family will be seated first, then asked to stand for Frank to be brought into the chapel.
Entrance Music: ‘Love Me Tender’, by Elvis Presley
Please be seated.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome. Today we come together to remember, pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Frank John Leeds.
Frank meant so much to so many. Due to these strange times we’re currently living in, today’s ceremony is held under tight restrictions. We recognise that those of us here today also represent everyone else that was a part of Frank’s life.
Love and thoughts go out to everyone that knew and loved Frank. We think especially of his wife Brenda, Brenda’s children and their partners Janet & Paul, Gary & Carolyn, Sally & Peter and Ian, the grandchildren Joe, Anthony, Graham, Ethan, Lucy, Amy, Jack, Kai, Devon and Leo.
We think also of the people who were a part of Frank’s life that had gone before him, especially his parents Margaret and Frank.
Frank was a special and important person in all of your lives and therefore it’s inevitable that you feel sadness as fairly suddenly you’re having to imagine a future without him being here by your sides in person.
There’s nothing I can say today that can take away your pain. However, I know that even if I could do that, that you wouldn’t want me to as that would take away everything you shared with Frank. Your pain exists only because of how much he meant to you. How much he still means to you. Grieving is important and therefore you should feel free to show your emotions should you need to, both today and in the future.
However, it would be a great shame if all that Frank left behind in this world was sadness and tears, as he’s left behind much more than that. So, as well as acknowledging your pain today, from everything I’ve heard about Frank, I’m sure he would want you all also to try, to remember him with a smile today as we remember and celebrate his life together.
We’d like to start our ceremony with a reading.
Reading: ‘One at Rest’
Think of me as one at rest,
for me you should not weep,
I have no pain, no troubled thoughts,
For I am just asleep.
The living, thinking me that was,
Is now forever still.
And life goes on without me
As time forever will.
If your heart is heavy now
Because I’ve gone away,
Dwell not long upon it, friend
For none of us can stay.
Those of you who liked me
I sincerely thank you all,
And those of you who loved me,
I thank you most of all
The answer to life’s riddle
In life I never knew
I go with hope that now I will,
And even so will you.
Oh Foolish, foolish me that was,
I who was once small,
To have wondered, even worried,
At the mystery of it all.
And in my fleeting lifespan
As time went rushing by,
I found some time to hesitate,
To laugh, to love, to cry.
Matters it now if time began.
or if time will ever cease?
I was here, and I used it all
And now I am at peace.
Remembering Frank’s Life
Whenever we lose someone, it’s always good to look back at their lives – both the memories we have shared with them and interesting times in their life histories that helped make them the person that we knew and loved.
We will now remember Frank’s life.
Frank was born in Hackney hospital on 17th May 1949, an only child to parents Margaret Josephine Darnell and Frank Ernest Leeds.
He lived in Homerton as a child and his dad was a milkman. Frank went to Upton House School, Clapton East London.
When he left school he first followed his Dad’s footsteps working as a milkman for a short period of time, before he went onto driving Buses in Central London. When he moved to Hooley in Surrey in the 1980s, he worked for the post office in Redhill, where he remained for 17 years. During his time there, Frank won ‘Lorry Driver of the Year’ on several occasions. He was also a part time driving instructor in this period.
As a teenager Frank’s main interest was Speedway, both riding (until he had an accident) and as a spectator. He followed the sport both in the UK, Europe and the USA.
He also enjoyed Darts, Archery, Tenpin Bowling in his spare time as a young adult.
Frank met Brenda at a Post Office Social Club event. They fell in love and decided to get married, living together in Redhill and then Peacehaven.
After they moved to Peacehaven, Frank worked at Gatwick Airport and also back on the buses in Brighton.
Frank had a very keen interest in motor mechanics and was competent in car maintenance. He also enjoyed his music and would collect stamps and coins. He enjoyed and got frustrated with computers and games. Puzzles were a pastime and he had a multitude of DIY Skills which he used to create a beautiful home at both Redhill and Peacehaven.
Brenda had four children who had already grown up by the time they had got married. Frank got on well with Janet, Gary, Sally and Ian and each of their children loved spending time with their Nanny and Grandad.
They have passed some memories onto me, which I will share with you now:
Anthony, Graham, Ethan and Lucy remember Grandad on Holidays to Padstow and Peak District, taking them onto the pier in Brighton and Lucy getting grandad to buy them warm doughnuts and paying for them to go on the rides. Ethan was very grateful for the keyboard and guitar that he gave him and shared his love of music which inspired Ethan to learn music and he used to send videos of his latest songs he had learnt.
Amy and Jack remember lots of days out to Chessington, Legoland and the Zoo where Jack remembers pointing out the Donkeys very large third leg which Granddad did a double take in shock. He carried a giant spiderman toy around all day that Amy and Jack had won. He used to have fun by poking us which made us laugh, Amy and Jack often getting lost either on holidays to Devon, theme parks or even just shopping in Redhill which worried everyone but we always found our way back. Long walks in Devon, Amy said she really appreciated the time they spent together when she was at Brighton University as he was always there to help with car, food, lifts home after too many shandys, taking her to Cafe rouge on her birthdays as she loved the Pate. He sponsored Amy on various adventures which she always got grandad involved by sending all the photos of trips, Grandad always kept Amy’s boyfriend company at family events with a million stories so they didn’t feel left out.
Joe has fond memories of playing in their garden and the holiday in Dorset caravan and one overriding memory from all the grandchildren is the hours and hours they waited over the years for granddad as he had a terrible habit of needing the loo every time they ever left to go somewhere or leave to go home and in that habit you could always rely....... with a sense of humour.
Frank had been suffering from ill health in recent years. He recently became ill and was admitted to hospital. Nobody could have predicted how ill he was to become, nor what little time he’d have left.
While everyone is saddened to lose Frank, everyone is grateful for the wonderful memories shared with him and proud of the person he was - a very generous Man with a kind heart who would put other before himself. He could be stubborn at times, and a bit gullible, especially with salesmen as he did like to chat. He will be missed.
I will now share our next reading with you.
Reading: ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep’
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond's glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken
in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
We will now take a few moments for you all to sit and reflect on your own special memories of Frank, while we listen to a piece of music.
Reflection to Music: ‘Adagio for Strings’
If you searched the whole wide world, you’d never find anyone else quite like Frank. He was unique, a one off and he can never be replaced.
While we are saying farewell today, in many ways he still lives on – through the memories you all shared with him, through the influence he had on each of you throughout your lives together and through you – the people he loved dearly.
I’m sure there will be many times that you’ll notice he is still with you through everything he leaves behind.
When you are all able to gather once again and you raise a glass in his honour, when you recall stories of times spent with him, you hear a song he enjoyed or you see a photo of him.
At all these times and whenever something happens that reminds you of Frank – smile, think of him, be grateful and feel lucky to have known him.
These sentiments are summed up in our final reading.
Even though he’s resting now,
he’s just beyond your view,
In peace he sleeps contented that -
his love will help you though.
So look for him in rainbows
and in every sunny day
And then he can remind you that he’s never far away
We are now nearing the end of our ceremony where we will say farewell to Frank.
Few final words from me which I’ll come up with on the day.
In a few moments, I will begin by saying the commendation. Then we will hear our final piece of music. While the music plays, I will exit the chapel. When you’re ready you can join me outside. In light of the current guidelines, for your safety and that of others, I kindly request that you refrain from approaching the or touching the coffin at this time. Thank you.
Please would you all stand.
Frank John Leeds,
May the light of love shine upon you, on those for whom you care and on those who care for you. May you be blessed with peace, now and forever.
In grief at your death, in gratitude for your life and for the privilege of sharing it with you, we commit your body to its natural end.
We honour the way you lived your life, we honour your character and personality. But most of all we honour the love and friendship you gave to your family and friends as we say farewell.
Exit Music: ‘House of the Rising Sun’, by The Animals