Obituary of Mel Slade
Passed away with his loving family by his side on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at the age of 77. Beloved husband of 58 years to Donna. Loving father of Mike (Marie), the late Shelley (Steve) Hodgkins and the late Roger. Cherished Papa to Kylee, Jenn and Nigel. Dear brother of Florence, Earl, Allie, Dolly and Philip. Mel will also be fondly missed by many nieces, nephews, extended family and close friends. Mel will be remembered for his warm smile, his generosity and his kindness. Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Arvinte, nurses and the staff at Shaver Palliative Care and NHS-St. Catharines for their kindness and support. In keeping with Mel's wishes, cremation has taken place. Family and friends will be received at the GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL HOME, 585 Carlton St., St. Catharines on Thursday, May 17 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Celebration of Mel's life will be held on Friday, May 18 at 11 a.m. in the funeral home ceremony room. Memorial donations may be made to Community Living or to Hotel Dieu Shaver (Palliative Care).
Mel Slade Eulogy May 18 2018
Thank you all for being here! It’s nice to see everyone !
MORE TUNG THAN A GUMBOOT!!
IF YOU DIDN’T THROW THE FIRST PUCH, MAKE SURE YOURS IS THE LAST!
NOT A WORD OF A LIE!
BE RESPECTFUL BUT DON’T TAKE NO SHIT FROM NO-ONE!
My Father - Melvin Alfred Slade. Not too many Melvin Alfred’s out there. Haha His name alone separated him from the pact. A mans man. Rugged and strong yet compassionate, friendly and fun. He was very generous, but most of all, Mel was a very kind man.
And We all know how Shy and not one to talk to much or overwhelm you with stories,... NOT. Just the opposite. Lol he loved a good joke and a great story!
Rick Bertrand reminded me yesterday of an example of a story his late father Leo and my dad would one up each other when they were together. -
Bass - lantern lit / remove 1 foot from bass and the lantern wasn’t lit. Lol
Travel, fishing, camping, boating were my father and mothers delicacies in life. They love the outdoors and nature. I look back and understand why my father enjoyed these things so much .... it was the people. The guy standing next to him while fishing. Everyone surrounding the campfire. The stories and fun expressed while he was BBQing. The card games and fun around the kitchen table and the conversations, stories and jokes in his recroom. This was the addiction for my dad. The gatherings and being surrounded with good people. While gathering at my moms this week I took a moment alone on their front porch looking at the sky, the trees, the ground and listened. All the flashbacks of my father showing me and having me smell his roses when I was just pre-school. Outside holding the hose while he built me a rink in winter and dad saying hear the cracking? It’s starting to freeze. All the life lessons he handed me from the start till now. I realized at that moment on the porch, the simplicity and peace life offers us are blessings and he continually reminded you of this through his actions.
He and mom loved to just go for a drive. Head to NOTL or stop at the canal to see the ships. Tour the country roads while up north looking at cottages then stop for a Kawartha ice cream. We all had one of these tours this past year. Lol. Drives he and mom still did up till recent. Set backs, challenges and hardships that my parents encountered over the years, well you’d never know. Since I can remember my parents never complained about anything, ever. Their cup was always half full and no matter what challenges they faced, they would just embrace the best of what each day had to offer and move forward still creating peace and fun for the rest of us.
As kids all the way till now with his grand kids, he and mom would attend every function we were ever involved in - school activities, all our sports, dance, plays, graduations, awards banquets. Nothing ever missed.
Dads priority in life was simple but intentional. Family! He cherished my mom Donna, us kids and his grand kids. Everything my father did was to enrich our lives and with open arms, his entire extended family, relatives and friends. Anyone who would allow him, he would touch their lives with great impact as many of you have openly expressed. Like I stated already...
He loved people and people around him.
My cousin Steve and I were standing in moms kitchen this week and he looked at me and said, “you know how many get togethers and parties we had here in this back yard and in this house. The memories then flooded in overwhelming us both because throughout our lives it was continual. Open door policy. Always welcome! Few times while growing up or now visiting do you encounter just them in the house. Someone is always visiting.
Through the years people have made an effort to tell me how great my dad is or my parents are. He’d meet someone once and his impact on them was instant. They would want more Mel time. Dad always thought of others first and treated everyone with respect. He was such a good listener who would always allow time to bend an ear with him. He was always interested and so wise. Any feedback he offered, people seemed to embrace. Kind and giving. Whether it was advice, encouragement, a simple pat on the back or a physical item, he would always find a way to comfort someone. You took the time to approach him, he made the time to listen and help. Sometimes so unexpected, he would do something for you so impactful or just timely, you would never forget. Respect, trust and love came right back at him. Who he was on a daily basis spoke volumes, developing the friendships and returning the love he so rightly deserved.
Dad had a profound way of expressing encouragement and support. You took it in and it never left you.
My son Nigel offered something he’d like me to share ... Quote “Dad.. papa always said mind over matter and then jokingly always said, “if you got no mind it don’t matter, right nige” then we’d laugh. But one thing I’ve learned from him and everything he’s been through is that if you want something bad enough, that you can do it, you just gotta be strong willed and believe you can do it, have mind over matter. And I honestly use that to push myself, and he’s always pushed me about hard work, you and him both, and I honestly appreciate that so much because I wouldn’t be where I am today without that hard work and at times mind over matter.” End quote
My father and I had a close loving relationship. Trust and a bond I can’t explain. My late younger sister Shelley, my father called his angle. Their relationship was equally as strong. My late younger brother Roger was special and a gift to our whole family. My father called Rog his buddy. You have to understand that next to mom, BUDDY in my fathers vocabulary was meant to express his true friend. The closest to his heart. Held the highest esteem for dad. Still all three of us were loved equally with strong encouragement and support our entire lives.
My wife Marie has been a part of this family since 1976 at 14 years old. I was 15, boyfriend and girlfriend. Both dad and mom loved her from the start. When we decided to get married 10 years later my father took me aside to express his feelings for Marie. That was probably the first time I heard him say how much he loved my mother and compared his luck to how lucky he felt I was to have found someone so wonderful as well. He has always loved Marie as his own daughter and still expressed how wonderful she is and that I am a lucky man till his last day.
When the grand kids came along his heart expanded tenfold and he couldn’t contain his love towards them. Both my parents instilled in me and my late siblings how important family is. They didn’t have to say much, they just lead by example and we acted on what we felt. At times My dad would say “you only have one family. Make the best of it.” Mom ... With the love shown between you and dad and toward us, there is no question how close we all were and are today. My three kids love their papa and grandma. At young ages they couldn’t wait to spend time with you. Now as adults, they still can’t spend enough time with you on their own. It’s so wonderful!! Thank you both for that!
he grand kids... Kylee, Jenn and Nigel. Both your grandma and papa would say all the time to mom and I, we don’t know what we’d do without your kids. How much they love you. Continually through papas last weeks and days while alone with him he would say Mike you’ve got three great kids. I dont know what i would do if they weren’t around. They mean the world to me. He’d also add, theyre smart and nice kids, they will all do well in life, I’m not worried about them. He’d repeat that every day. Kylee and Jenn, you are both his special girls (Kylee his princess and Jenn his angle) he loved everything about both of you and with each of your visits during his final weeks, when you walked into the room, his energy grew and you lifted papas spirits putting that infectious smile on his face. He couldnt wait for each and every visit that you afforded him. Nigel you came home from New York to visit at Easter which he talked about many times. Knowing you had to finish exams and school till May 10th, he counted the days. Your FaceTime calls each week kept papa believing you’d be home soon which also contributed to his endurance. Remember, mind over matter and he willed himself to be able to see you as well. He seen his Princess and his Angle, he needed to also see his buddy. Nigel, papa referred to you as his buddy!! Papa was in a bad way for a period of time to which the three of you helped extend his life and his joy! I want you all to know how much your papa valued each of your relationships. How proud he was of each of you and how much love he had for the three of you. Both he and the three of you are so blessed and lucky to have enjoyed one another the way you have. He was a special man and you are special kids. Something you still continue to share with your grandma.
Mom and Dad
Mom - The love you and dad had for each other is something that movies are written about. It was chemistry. In sinc and in total harmony with one another. Just instinctive support towards one another for everything. As a Matter of fact if deserved, and you were lucky enough to duck a backhander from one, by the time you started to grin with relief, the other one got you. It was this way for everything, bad and good. No grey areas which just increased their credibility as parents. As kids, we always felt the love and support towards us and more importantly, between them. My dad was always thinking of what he could do for mom. A trip somewhere or a function she might enjoy or a gift. As we got older he bounced ideas off of my sister and I. As my kids got older he got pleasure of having his grand kids take him out to shop for my mom or bounce ideas off them. Mom as you know Dad wasn’t much for I love you’s or showing loving emotion, but when someone said, Mel your wife is lovely, a very nice lady, or you’re a lucky man having a women like that .... my father would just release his infectious smile and simply say THANK YOU because he knew it and he was now happy that you knew it!! He was very proud of you mom. You were his everything. He always expressed it to me as the years have gone buy. How many times hes told me how wonderful you are. You would do something for someone and he’d say to me, see the type of women I married. How hard you have always worked at everything you do. How proud he was that youre his wife. How lucky he was to have met and have you at his side.
Mom I know it will be difficult moving forward, but be so proud that that special man, picked you to be by his side for life and cherish all the great memories over these 59 years.
One last thing...
One of the condolences from a friend, I would like to read to you and I hope this person doesnt mind.
Mel was one of only a few of the greatest men I have ever had the the pleasure of knowing in my life.
Kindhearted, wise, gentle, caring, compassionate, funny, loving, generous and would always have the time to (bend an ear) and set you back on a straight path if you ever had a problem.
Wow ......God blessed you with 77 years of having this wonderful man to love and guide you.....
How lucky you are to have had this blessing!!
In variances of words, this has been expressed by many over the last few days. Some even referring to Mel as their second dad!
Mel, Dad, Papa, you were a true leader and this is the legacy you leave. I and your family are so proud of you.
We’ll Love you forever. Rest In Peace!!
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