Eulogy of Duncan Linden Urquhart Sept 8, 1911 - Oct 5, 2000
by Donald W. Thomson
Duncan Linden Urquhart was born on the Urquhart family farm east of Martintown.
The youngest of 5 children to James Urquhart and Isabelle McMartin. She was a granddaughter of Sheriff Alexander McMartin, builder of the Martintown Mill in 1846 making Linden a Great Grandson.
He attended Martintown Public School and Williamstown High School from 1935 to 1930 with barely one hundred students.
His favorite subject was Ancient History and he through that interest became quite a historian with a unique mind of remembering names, dates, family’s ages and who married who of so many people.
We would ask how old is so and so today and he would quickly answer but add, ‘don’t tell them I told you’.
Linden joined the United Counties Road Department in July 1931 and except for serving the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II from 1942 until September 1946 was accounting and senior clerk when he retired in 1977.
During his years with the Counties he served with Joseph Cameron, Allan Ferguson and the present Road Superintendent and Engineer Don MacDonald.
While Linden lived in the Urquhart home in Martintown until he moved to Cornwall he traveled to work with Raymond Lapointe every day.
Raymond tells us when Linden would get the books to balance, he would tap his feet with satisfaction and I’m sure he said, "That’s that".
He never owned or drove a car and therefore never had any car payments like most of us have or still have today.
He never married and spent most of his life in Martintown taking care of his mother until her death in 1961.
The flower gardens at his home were extra beautiful and many a bride used flowers from those gardens for her wedding.
Later he moved to Cornwall where he was able to walk to work and shop in Cornwall.
While in Martintown he was a dedicated member of St. Andrews United Church, Martintown and gave his volunteer time as the meticulous caretaker, polishing, painting and pruning trees and keeping the church warm in the winter.
Every Saturday he would be seen spending his time preparing for the Sunday Service.
He was a member of the famous quartet consisting of Finlay MacIntosh, Marland Murray and my father Salem Thomson.
He sang in the choir for years and years.
Although he lived in Cornwall he loved to come to the country and would tell the city folks he was going to the country estate.
He spent most of the summers with my mother in the trailer home after my father died and stayed with us after mother passed away.
He was Sylvia’s gardener when he was in better health and grew beautiful flowers.
Just this spring he was well enough to plant tomato plants at Ultra Vista Towers for which the tenants in the building were able to enjoy.
Every spring Sylvia and Linden would take off visiting and buying plants at all the green houses in the area and would have boxes and boxes on the garage floor waiting to be planted.
There was no room for the car. 4 or 5 years ago they visited Freelands at Maxville and of course they purchased flats of flowers.
While Sylvia was taking care of the bill the flats disappeared.
She asked the young fellow where were the plants.
He said "your husband put them in them car".
After Sylvia got in the car she told Linden what happened.
Linden grinned from ear to ear and was still smiling the next day.
I don’t know if Sylvia looked old or Linden looked young.
Linden was handicapped with his loss of hearing but was grateful for good eyesight.
Every evening he would do the crossword puzzle in the Citizen.
He communicated with several people by his fax machine.
Most of his great great nieces and nephews always called him Uncle Lindy and he was able to live on his own until early July.
Uncle Linden and Katie had a lot in common as Katie loves growing flowers and has her own flower garden.
She was always asking him flower questions and he was so proud to be able to help.
He knew every flower by the common name or Latin name.
He would watch for the school buses and happy to see Kelsey when she would stop by.
Our sincere thanks to the Maxville Manor nurses and caregivers who during his short stay provided excellent kind care.
To Kathy Ann and Rory for always including an invitation to Linden for special dinners and driving him to doctor appointments when we were unable to do so.
He always enjoyed Rory’s parents and Ken and Merle MacLennan’s company.
To Debbie for including Linden with Sylvia and myself for all the fine meals in her home on special occasions.
To Debbie’s Aunt Mary Wilson who lived in the same apartment building as Linden.
She was the person we would call when Linden accidentally left the receiver off the hook on the fax machine.
To Emily MacInnes and Majorie McMartin for all the great dinner parties and conversations they had and his visits to the cottage.
Jean MacIntosh was always included and Linden missed her very much, being both historians they had a lot in common.
We have lost a very large connection to our past.
To Dr. Brian Young of Cornwall for adding an extra 12 years to Linden’s life.
After other doctors could not understand why Linden was so exhausted, Dr. Young diagnosed heart problems and a pacemaker was implanted.
We are grateful to the Ottawa Heart Institute and Dr. Richard Davies for their excellent care and concern.
Also I have to thank Sylvia because he required a lot of transportation to doctors, hospitals in Cornwall, Ottawa and Alexandria. Linden appreciated all the loving care from Sylvia.
He was fortunate to have her. How he enjoyed his meals at our home.
This is a quote that was found in one of Linden’s books and I’d like to share it with you.
"When I was young, I admired clever people
Now that I am old, I admire kind people".
We were at the cottage; it was dark Thursday morning when the caretaker came knocking at the door to inform us of a telephone call.
We knew… however by the time we got packed and ready to leave, the day was beautiful, the lake like clear glass and was reflecting the colour of the trees in full autumn colour.
It was so serene, tranquil and beautiful we felt Linden’s presence and saying "Don’t weep for me, I’m at peace".
Poem read by Katie MacLennan
Spring Awakens What Autumn Put To Sleep
A garden of asters of varying hues,
Crimson-pinks and violet-blues,
Blossoming in the hazy Fall
Wrapped in Autumn’s lazy pall –
But early frost stole in one night
And like a chilling, killing blight
It touched each pretty aster’s head
And now the garden’s still and dead
And all the lovely flowers that bloomed
Will soon be buried and entombed
In Winter’s icy shroud of snow
But oh, how wonderful to know
That after Winter comes the Spring
To breathe new life in to everything,
And all the flowers that fell in death
Will be awakened by Spring’s breath –
For in God’s plan both men and flowers
Can only reach "bright, shining hours".