My father was given a great send off by a large gathering of family and friends yesterday. The British Legion provided a Guard of Honour and the service was conducted by Reverend Daniel Freyhan.
Eric Henry Sack
Proud, stubborn, loved his family, looked out for his friends. A more caring and giving man would be hard to find. I don’t need to tell you this, you all knew him and that’s why you are here today.
Eric was born and grew up in Tottenham just a long goal kick from the Spurs football ground. He was part of a big family being one of 12 children, six boys and six girls. The pre war years were an important part of his life and he loved telling stories about the school fights he used to get into. It seems he had a reputation for being able to defend himself.
He also remembered the war years and being evacuated to Somerset. He told stories about the blitz in London, about shrapnel zinging down the street while he took cover in cinema doorways, and stories about the V1 and V2 bombs raining down on the capital. Some of his older brothers were overseas fighting for our country.
After the war Eric joined the army and some of his favourite stories were about Cyprus. Say it quietly, he served as an MP, not the most loved branch but one he was well suited to. He was stationed in Dhakelia and had many memories of helping the Jewish refugees returning to Israel.
He left the army and returned to the UK. Eric met and married Joy and they came to Stevenage in 1953 living in Ruckles Close. His first job was at ESA where he worked until its closure many years later. They had two sons, David and Christopher born in 1956 and 1960. With a growing family they moved to Plash drive in 1963.
Throughout his life he loved holidays at home and abroad. He loved to be with the family and in later years enjoyed taking the grandchildren away for breaks. He thought nothing of trekking across the country to see his brothers and sisters, his in-laws nieces and nephews. I think he was secretly a petrol head, a characteristic he passed on but denied vehemently.
For years, every other weekend he would drive Joy the 75 miles to Clacton to see her mother, with the kids in tow until they grew up and left home. To be fair he would also take the kids to do what they wanted. He took David to Tottenham and Luton to watch football, he took Chris all over the country to go fishing. He took everyone to Heathrow and to Luton airport to watch the aircraft. He tried to make everyone happy!
His great success as a career advisor came when David had his ‘O’ level results. They were not as good as expected. With his son visibly devastated he said ‘Come with me’. He took David down the hill toward the town centre and asked what he would do. David did not know so he said ‘It’s alright son, you can come and work at the ESA with me.’ A nanosecond later David had made up his mind he was sitting the ‘A’ levels.
He loved horses and he loved drawing them, often he would draw his sons or the grandchildren in pictures he found whimsical. His other great pleasure was dancing, he met some lovely people through it and made some really good friendships.
Following a prolonged illness Joy died in 1990 and left a huge void in his life.
He met June and remarried in 1998. Respect – they absconded to Gretna Green for the event!
Erics’ determined character can be summed up by the events of one mornings ride on a horse. They were trotting under the motorway when a passing vehicle startled the horse. The horse bolted and Eric was flung underneath the animal. He was dragged along for 25 yards or so. When the horse came to a stop he was able to get off and reposition and resecure the saddle. Although he was visibly shaken and hurt he insisted on getting back on the horse. He said no horse has ever beaten me and this one is not going to either.
His other great attribute was his ‘get it done now’ outlook. If there was a job to be done he got on with it, no cogitating, no build up – just do it now! Neither son inherited that one.
Yes – Proud, stubborn, loved by his family, respected by his friends. Eric has left giant footprints in the sands of time.
Following the service we moved on to ‘The Granby’ where an excellent buffet was provided by Sam and her crew. Some of us, well Chris, did get a bit upset but he is fine now. Some good food and a drink restored him.
It was good to meet up with friends and family but, of course, not the best of circumstances. To name a few thanks to Lynne and Lorraine, John and Diane, Uncle John, Vulker, Chris, Vera and Kim, Dan, Bex, Lou, Rae and Veronica, Faith, Nathan, Little Jack, the twins, Aunt Sheila and Graham.
Hopefully things will get back to normal now and our businesses can return to their routines.
We will miss Dad but, for me anyway, the service yesterday was a fine, respectful way to say goodbye.
(ps Dad – who’s Percy and those letters were gems ??!!??!!)
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