In my last blog I mentioned the death of my American cousin, Pauline, what I couldn't tell you at the time was another paternal cousin died six days later. Keith's death was far more of a shock, he was only 75, but young for his age, had been in good health and it was a cut on his hand that lead to blood poisoning and his death.
Even now, over two weeks after a phone call from his wife asking us to include Keith in our prayers, we cannot believe what has happened. Keith has been there always, for us as family and for humanity for he saw good in everyone. At his Quaker funeral we were reminded or learnt of all he did as mourners were moved to speak. He and Diana moved from Surrey to North Wales when he took very early retirement, they had been very involved with Kingston Quakers this transferred to Bangor Meeting, amongst many other roles he was the Quaker representative for University chaplaincy; Churches Together; United Nations; a founder member of Bangor U3A; he had been a prison visitor and had prisoners to stay in his home; he ran the London marathon some 20 years ago for Intermediate Technology; he was a practical guy who kept the Meeting House (and its boiler) in good repair as well as his own home and that of others; he had two children and was grandfather to two boys. The younger 14 year old spoke at Meeting about Keith talking to him about Shakespeare, who he believed was from North Wales not Stratford. This resonated with me, I too was taken to the house where it was believed the writer lived.
Keith was very much aware of the wider Bailey family, his mother was my father's sister and he knew many of the extended family as he, his mother and our grandmother had been evacuated from Richmond to East Anglia to stay with our grandmother's family. I remember him helping my parents move house, there was a memorable journey in his Morris Minor van when he gave my parents, my sister and me a lift from Twickenham to Paddington Station for our first holiday at Dunster Beach. I think my father, sister and I sat on cushions in the back of the van, it did seem we travelled rather fast.
There are many other things I could add to record an event that many can still not believe.