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Epilogue


Elton died on 18 April, 2004, at age 88 from natural causes. He led an active retirement, until his stroke. He was particularly active in the Lee-on-Solent Horticultural Society, being its president and traveling around the local countryside as an invited speaker to other horticultural groups. He and Daphne consistently won many trophies at the Lee-on-Solent Horticultural Society’s home and garden produce competitions.

Elton had a stroke in August, 2000, which left him paralysed on his right side. His voice was affected so that speech was difficult both for him to pronounce and for us to understand. Oral communication was possible but increasingly limited as his throat seemed to continue to deteriorate slowly after the stroke.

Daphne died of liver cancer on 30 May, 2001, less than a year after Elton’s stroke. In spite of her developing illness, she worked hard to care for Elton and enable him to live at home. When she died, Elton had to move into a home. We visited him at the home, “Carleen”, on Portchester Road east of Fareham. It was a nice home, but he was not at all happy there, with no-one familiar around him, and his disability made it very difficult for him to adapt to the new situation.

Then, Gordon volunteered to come back to “Cooleen” to care for Elton. This was a remarkably selfless act of love for his father. Gordon moved back to England from Germany, where he had built his life, and ran the “Cooleen” house and looked after Elton, with the help of daily visits by national health system nurses. Everybody in the family chipped in many different ways and, together with Gordon, enabled Elton to spend his last years in the most dignified and happy way possible.

-- Harry & Iris Matthews
22-June 2004