Partnering with SiteWhirks on Main Street Warrenton since 2004, Brighter Communities (BC) has continuously implemented sustainable concepts through research / events / projects in homes, flats, work-force housing, schools, government, non-profits and business with ROI averaging 10:1
International Executive Management studies into funeral services and hospices were in honour of my brother Tony. Part of the bereavement process for the past 2 years. Read below / click on top of column photos to learn about his meaningful life
Brother Tony: Historical Background / Introduction
Monday June 12: Second anniversary of funeral services, cremation and wake at his flat in Tunbridge Wells Kent with friends and family
Friday June 2: What would have been his birthday
Second Anniversary Sunday May 21 2017 of his passing: Sharing "Tone" (as in music) memories with others in England, Italy, Illinois, Maryland, and Virginia by lighting a candle, celebrating a life well-lived ... Like his father Bruce, a truly gentle, generous, and kindly man ...
Ashes to Lake May 21, 2016 - Hosted by Paul / Michael, attended by Maureen, Linds, Sarah, Andrew, Bill, Dan, Malcolm at Tonbridge Sailing Club and local parks
Funeral, Cremation, Wake June 12, 2015 - Pembury Funeral Services (thank you Hannah / Sean), Cremation Memorial hosted by Paul, Amanda, Suzi, Malcolm, Dan and Michael followed by wake at Tone's basement flat in Tunbdidge Wells well attended by his dearest friends and relatives Caroline, June, Nina, Alan and Simon
Passed May 21 2015 at Hospice in the Weald, Kent UK around 9:20am GMT
Bruce returned from the war (Dunkirk, North Africe, Italy) to marry Jo (Margaret). With her parents we moved to a 4-story then 80 year old house (1 of 4 built by a Colonel for his daughters late 1800s) with high ceilings, black marble fireplaces, slate roofs, turkish bath, cellar (store for home brewed wines, carrot whiskey and saki)
Our grandparents lived on the ground floor, we were on the second, and the third was vacant - interesting use as a teen (will share over a beer).
Grandpa (George Osborne) died of two heart attacks one school morning after just 3 years of retirement from Fleet Street. Wonderful man (WWI trench warfare, WWII Home Guard with mum). Tony was 4 and I 15 when he passed.
Tony (Tone to closest friends) was my sibling and younger brother. He arrived in Upper Belvedere at 17 Erith Road in Kent one June when I was 11 years old. He was 7 when I left home for London after graduating from Dartford Grammar, a 400+ year old boys school where our uncles Bert, Tex and Vic carved their initials in old wooden desks, and where Mick Jagger spent 7 formative years.
With Nana, parents and Tony, our only shared home in Belvedere was sold and replaced by 20 houses. It burned for 3 days as the cheapest way to tear it down. So sad. Can never return. I left London for Toronto Canada when Tony was just 10. With me in North America, they moved south to Tonbridge and I saw very little of him as he grew up, a 2nd "only" child so to speak
However, as we grew older we became closer.
For his 21st birthday mum and dad treated him, and themselves, to a US holiday in Florida where we resided in Tampa. We visited The Keys in a 67 Mustang with my eldest son Steven (born 7/2 in Reading, Berkshire, UK now in Warrenton VA and retired from the USAF).
In 1997 when Andrew (sophomore at Salisbury Uni MD) was born in Manassas on 1/23 he spent 10 weeks with us that fall. Uncle Tony linked up with daughters Ashley and Sarah (3/31 and 10/31 both end of month babies) when they spent a month in England and France with cousin Amanda, husband Alan, and niece Charlotte.
Over the years there were many other occasions shared with my brother.
Tony led a quiet but wonderfully exciting life.
Camping holidays in Europe. Visit to cousin Caroline in Italy. Time spent in Scotland (Orkneys) with close friends. Sailing with Malcolm and crew on the south coast. Sailing with me on the Chesapeake on Anser Cinereus (named by dad and Tony) where we awoke one morning at 3am to a Patuxent Estuary storm and wind change of 180 while anchored. We worked well as a team under tremendous pressure (being blown onto the beach in a 6 tonne+ sailboat).
Tony wrote poetry and had his first public reading a few years before he passed. He played the flute. He brewed home-made beer. Drinkable in 2 weeks.
Other than sailoing, what did we have in common?
Bird watching. Two of his feeders are on the patio door. Refilled them this morning.
Love of gardening. He showed Sarah how to plant seeds in Royal Tunbridge Wells 5 weeks before he passed.
Love of family. One high point was a family reunion in Christchurch near Bournemouth organized by Uncle Tex (RIP) and Aunt Nina (lovely lady). meeting Aunt June and Cousin Simon after they left South Africa and Salisbury Rhodesia for England.
From Aunt June a day after the service, cremation and wake at Tone's flat, garden and pond (13/6/15).
Very dear Michael
What a beautiful and well organised day it was yesterday (12/6/15).
It was so happy and loving with Tony's presence so tangible in his lovely little flat and garden and in the company of his wonderful friends and family. The service was amazing and all the eulogies showed so movingly how loved Tony was. I am so glad I have a copy of them all. I felt I got to know him through the words of his family and friends.
How beautifully Paul Batson celebrated the service. It was a joy to meet him and Lindsey and all Tony's exceptionally nice friends. How amazing that you kept in touch with Paul and that he came so far to carry out the service. I did like him and Lindsey very much. It was only when I saw it all happening that I realised that it was the fulfilment of your excellent care and planning, carried out at such a sad and difficult time, with Tony always in mind. Well well done lovely Michael. You have been in everything such a loving brother.
I am so glad you still have dearest Caroline with you. You will both be so busy but I hope you have time for lovely talks together. I think of you both. I hope you will have time too to meditate in that gorgeous little garden as you think and plan about new directions.
Much love to my darling nephew and niece
from your aunt June.