People were looking for my grandfather’s tribute a few years. I’ll leave this here for my amazing, dearly missed grandmother in case anyone wasn’t able to make it.
Clara Flora Lydia Burton (nee King), 1930-2015
Nanny’s house always smelled like fresh bread. Everyone called her “Aunt Clara”. When I talked to her on the phone my accent grew 100 times stronger. It was like she had a gravitational field around her, and it pulled everyone and anyone into her home and into her life, and she loved those people even before she met them. That’s just who she was.
And yet once you were fed she would turn and send you out again, on to another house to visit someone else, perhaps to Aunt Hazel or to Aunt Viv or to Aunt Rita, on to spread more love to more people. That was also who she was.
And then she’d turn her attention to one of two things – the church, where she did everything she could to contribute, including learning the organ on her own; or else her friends – far too many to mention by name – and her family, to whom she tended tirelessly, making food and offering words of comfort and a place in her home and in her life. And those, more than anything, were who she was.
She asked us to keep this short, and if you knew her that doesn’t surprise you. She did all that she did not for praise but because she loved and cared for everyone else before herself.
She wanted a short speech, so I can’t tell you all that I should. But then again, no matter how many words I spoke, I couldn’t tell you all you should know about this woman. She was a whirlwind for work and a beacon of light and love for everyone around her, and we couldn’t have been more lucky or grateful to have had her for so long. We are so glad that she was part of your lives, and we hope you’ll carry on where she has left off.