When Friends Pass

Two people died this past week who were friends of mine, and I didn’t know it in time to go to their funerals…or to the funeral home to honor them.

Mr. E.B. King, Jeff King‘s Dad was a fixture all through my childhood. Jeff and I played a lot of baseball together as kids, and Mr. King was always there to encourage, to help, to coach us, play catch with us…anything he could do to help he always did. I never heard Mr. King ever raise his voice, although he may have…but he seemed a kind and gentle man. The kind of man you look up to as a kid. He was a Navy man, like my Dad was, and I heard him and my Daddy talk about it occasionally. After my ball playing years, I would see Mr. and Mrs. King at Church and they never, ever failed to speak or to smile. They never failed to show joy. Mr. King and I became buddies over 30 years of going to Trade Day together. Can’t count the junk I bought from him that I “needed” At the same time, money could not BUY the good will and friendliness in the conversations we had about everything under the moon. Fifteen or twenty minutes on a Saturday or a Tuesday over all those years. Wonderful person, Mr. E.B., I will surely miss him.

Phil Turpin was also a very quite man. Always soft spoken. He was working over a Mt. Vernon Mills and he and Gail Haines Turpin started coming to Church and we met them there. We had kids who were the same age, in the same grades and became friends through our mutual interests. We all took our kids over to Lynda Harrington’s house and Lynda was the babysitter for our group. We shared all the trials and tribulations of children growing up. The little hurts, and some bigger hurts (oh..Michael Turpin…that split lip that one day) but we made it through it. Phil was a good example of a family man. A man who loved and cared deeply for his family. You could see it in his eyes when he looked at them. We spent quite a bit of time together through the Church and outside of it also. I lost touch with them when they moved out of town. I had heard over the years that Phil was sick, and the last time that I saw him some years back at a Homecoming…you could tell he was ill. But he didn’t complain. I don’t think Phil was the complaining type. I think he was the type of man who cared much more about others than he did for himself. He will be missed, and I am sorry I missed being able to console his family in person.

Hope both of these families will forgive me for not keeping up with things well enough to know about this losses when they happened. I will tell you though, I do mourn them….I did love them.

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