Some messages from “away”

This is just a selection of messages we have received by E-mail.  These messages were read by Charles Maginely at the funeral.

Listen: [audio:Doug.mp3]

From Flemming’s niece Karen:

I have been thinking about Uncle Flemming all week and the fond memories I have of an Uncle that I will always hold close in my heart.

Like the time Kathy accidentally steped on Bradley’s kitten and the poor little kitty died. Well, Brad was so upset that his mommy “murdered” his kitten that when Uncle Flemming found out he drove to Kathy’s and picked up Brad and the kitty and took them home and had a funeral in his back yard. Although Uncle Flemming tried to explain to little Bradley that it wasn’t murder Brad felt much better knowing that the little kitty was in a safe place now.

I remember I could call him when I was sad and needed to talk. I always felt better after our chit-chats.

The time he drove me to Mount Alison to spend the weekend with Pam…we managed to solve many of the world problems during our drive there and back.

When I wanted him to officiate over my wedding, he jumped through hoops to borrow a church and what did I do? I complained and whined because I wanted him to wear a gown. He went through the trouble of finding a minister that was approximately the same size as him so he could borrow one. I am pretty sure I am the only niece in the entire world that had an uncle that did this for her. He found a gown to wear and I not sure I ever told him how grateful I was or how proud I am that he is my uncle.

These are only a few ways that he had an impact on my life….I loved him very much and will miss him.

From Steve’s brother Larry Sepulchre, in Belgium:

Gandhi said that his life was his message. Your fathers message is strong,
clear and extremely generous.

From the Staff of Tim Hortons, Mahone Bay

Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss… our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

From Anna Steadman, on behalf of St. John’s & St. Paul’s Pastoral Charge where Flemming filled in part time after his retirement:

I offer condolences on Flemming’s passing. He was with us in the mid – late 90’s – an exceptional man of God. He was a gift to this Charge and to all who were blessed to meet him. I will never forget the phone call, I received from him one evening when he wanted to discus a letter he was sending to our Session about Homosexuality and Marriage. This phone call went on for over an hour as we discussed his thoughts and feelings. He was a talented, gifted man who will not be forgotten. I was happy to see you are going to keep posting his writings.

From Jean Clayton

I was privileged to work with Flemming Holm at both the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

He was a singular gentleman of dry wit who appreciated many of life’s ironies.

I enjoyed interesting discussions with him and was always surprised at the depth of his knowledge on a wide variety of topics. I found him to be a natural teacher and valued his encouragement and support.

His love and pride in his Danish heritage was equaled by his love and pride in his family. My condolences to each family member at this time of great loss.

A dedicated advocate of social justice; he will be greatly missed.

Rest in peace, Flemming – you were one of the good guys.

From Rev. Peter Smith, St. James United Church, Antigonish

We were privileged as a congregation to have Rev. Flemming Holm serve as minister with us from 1967-1973 and many here still fondly remember his presence in Antigonish. Our prayers join with yours as you come before God and celebrate his life. I personally had the opportunity to speak with him in the spring and hear some of his memories and thoughts on this area and was able to pass along condolences on his behalf to a family in the congregation. May this time of remembrance be an opportunity for you as family to celebrate the life you were blessed to know and may God grant Rev. Flemming Holm the peace and the wonder which is prepared for all who work and strive for God’s justice on earth.

From his cousin, Flemming Lindblad, who visited just a few weeks ago:

I am so thankful to have seen and spent time with Flemming when I did. He has always been one of my heroes and he was a real influence in my teenage years.

From Dorothy & Kenley MacNeill.

[This was sent before they heard the news that Flemming had passed away.]

Our sympathy goes out to all of the family, but even more, we trust, there will be a celebration of this man as you gather together sharing your sorrow and joy. What a great man!! We wish we had seen more of him over the years, but many Nova Scotia roads make ‘dropping in’ rather difficult.

We knew Flemming in several places, and we both remember when his parents worked at Tatamagouche Centre!! He was always interested in the Centre and Kenley at least has seen him there on occasion. It seems appropriate that any memorial from us should go to the Centre. Knowing Flemming though, we may have to wait, unless as he no doubt wishes – “It won’t be long now.”.

From George MacLean, a friend of Flemming and June and best man at their wedding:

Thanksgiving Day – and what more can we do but give thanks, Flemming, for your life and influence and courage and good humour! We found in you a steadfast friend all through the piece. Time and again you have opened realms of fresh thought and outlook and shared daring and steadiness as we ventured them.
How well I remember the coffeepot in your room at Pine Hill and how its aroma stirred both mind and heart!
We follow you with love on this journey. Thank you for being among

From Becky Leano, who worked with him at the Canadian Human Rights Commission and remained a close friend.

Your Dad was quite special and he was a blessing to all he met. I learned a lot from him; he made us all laugh and his wit, friendship, his great memory and love for poetry, wise sayings and historical events, and his jokes always enlivened any situation.

Flemming lived out his faith! I always enjoyed reading his opinions sent to the local paper. He was a champion for the weak and disenfranchised folks. I will miss him a lot. As well, I will miss his delightful Christmas letters! He did not suffer long and he is now at peace.

From his cousin’s daughter, Birgit Hope, who visited from Denmark and England last spring:

I am so sorry to hear about your loss which must be difficult despite Flemming being ready to go and I wanted you to know that we are thinking of you all. My Mother too has asked me to let you know they she and my Father will be thinking of you and your family from Denmark.

I always felt that I knew a little about your Father through his very descriptive letters sent to Denmark and the family history that he wrote but I am so thankful that I did meet him last year when we came to visit. I only wish we had had more time – I know that he would have loved some time to talk in Danish.

From Randy Crozsman, minister at the United Church of St. Paul & St. Stephen in Kentville:

I write this with both sadness and with joy. It has been such a gift to
me to have had the time we did ! That death has come as welcome rest for
Flemming, evokes a wonderful warmth in my soul. I hope that God, St. Peter
et al are ready for some terrific stories !
My sadness is selfishness, his loss from this world, is my loss too.

I hold you, Malcolm, and family in heart, mind, and prayer !!

From Jim Morton, now an NDP MLA

He has been a source of inspiration to me and I think of him often. I recall his comments on John Wesley as a example of how a fresh idea, well-delivered, can change the world.

From David Cameron, a friend of Heather who met Flemming briefly, but then discovered his blog:

so…now after his physical embodiment is gone to ash
I get to see who he is and what he thinks about so much
the turns of phrase and strategies employed in
search of social justice and transmission of
its basic concepts to and through a stunted media
rumbling quietly into the darkness
coming towards him
about compassion and logic and mercy
rational thought writ well and humble
charity beginning but not ending at home.

flemming, may I get to know thee well.

From his friend Cathy Etter:

We are changed now
Not because he left us
But because he touched us

From Gordon Earle

Flemming was truly an outstanding person and will be deeply missed by all who knew him. His undying attention to things such as the church; poverty; human suffering; developing nations; human rights; international affairs; local, provincial, and federal politics; and a host of other topics truly exemplified him as a person striving to help build a better world.

From Maurine Vine

We first met through the NDP when he lived in Dartmouth. In those days NDPers were pretty rare everywhere in NS. We were persistent, committed and worked hard. You can ask him whether he knew we would eventually become the government. I don’t know that I believed it. I suspect we both supported the NDP because it was the right thing to do.

From Rev. Cliff Moase

He was a couple of years ahead of me at Pine Hill, and I think it wasn’t until we were together at the first Canadian Lab in Group Development (at A.C.T.C., 1957, if my memory serves me) that I came to know him. We shared much during those couple of weeks, and continued to share in the years that followed.

My prayer is the one that comes from the Service Book:

“O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then of Your tender mercy grant us a safe lodging and a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”

So may it be for your Dad. May God be graciously near to all of you in the family circle which he treasured so much.

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