Everett Blake Prentice
May 28, 1937 - April 20, 2010
Eulogy by Clive Prentice, April 26, 2010
Blake was raised in the Beaver Valley on an apple orchard in Thornbury. Ironically enough he passed away in the same place he was born (73 years ago), the R.V.H. in Barrie. Mom and Dad were living in a nearby town called Churchill. Blake was a preemie and as it was back in then no one had money for hospitals. So for the first months of his life he laid in a basket on a chair in front of the oven of an old cook stove.
Blake was the second oldest in a family of five, which consisted of my oldest sister, Eleanor, married to Steve Coleman, an immigrant from Dublin Ireland (who still hasn’t grasped the English language), then Blake, then my sister Jewell, who was married to a wonderful man, Jimmy Hogg, for Fifty years, who sadly passed away a few years ago. Then there is brother Bill who resides in North Carolina with his wife DeDe (says he came here just to get warm). I’m Clive, the youngest. I live in Clarksburg with my lovely wife Brenda.
After a few stops around Grey and Bruce Counties, Duncan and Elmwood to name a few, I recall the move from Elmwood. Our Dad, Everett, who had worked in a sawmill there, hired a stock truck (used to haul pigs and cattle) to move our belongings to Thornbury. I was very young but I recall that my sister Jewell got to ride in the cab with Blake and Bill while I was relegated to a small space in the back. It was not a limo ride but it got us there.
It seemed that all the while we lived in Thornbury Blake and my other siblings thought it would be a good idea to either kill or maim the wee guy, me! As I recall we had a huge barn and for some reason us kids spent a lot of time up on the roof. Cousins have since told me they didn’t think the Prentice kids spent any time on the ground. One time we were looking over the edge and noticed there were sumac bushes down below. Either Blake or Bill told me that if I jumped off the roof there it would be like landing on a cushion. Blake wouldn’t lie, he was my big brother! Well I jumped. Cushion, be darned! I hit the ground at what I would say was 300 miles per hour, dead stop. It was a good thing there was soft dirt underneath those bushes or it would have been my demise.
Another time Blake had the grand idea that in the summer you could lean an apple picking ladder up to the barn roof and toboggan down it. Guess who he picked to be the initial pilot? Yup! Me! Same deal, 300 miles an hour go’ in down and a dead stop at the bottom. Took me three days to get my jeans out of my keister!
My brothers and I slept in the same bedroom and as boys will do, many times we horsed around before going to sleep. Several times our dad would holler up the stairs, “Don’t make me come up there!” Well one night when he shouted his threat Blake (in a moment of idiocy) yelled, “Well, come on up you old bugger!” He did and it still hurts!
Blake worked at a variety of jobs over the years. He lived with our Mom in Collingwood after a short time out west working on a ranch. He did mainly odd jobs and was a good handyman. Although in my estimation, people took advantage of his good nature… and he was grossly under paid.
Then he met Maggie. Together they dove into their love of the church the Boy Scout movement. When they were married in their leader uniforms, their troop stood up for them and gave Maggie away.
Blake had many stories to tell and I must confess some were true and some were iffy. None the less, he was a wonderful guy who wouldn’t hurt a flea. He wasn’t the best dad in the world but as I told his oldest boy, Jimmy, “Who cares! He was still your dad and he loved you!” Now he is gone and we and a few other communities shall miss his good nature and that laugh that could strip wallpaper.
In closing, let me thank everyone for coming here today to give Blake a nice ‘send-off’ and ‘Older Brother’ our brothers and sisters and I say, “Goodbye, bless you and we’ll miss you!”
Eulogy by brother Clive Prentice
on April 26, 2010 at St. Margaret’s Anglican Church in Barrie
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