I want to share a tribute to two elderly neighbors, Alice and Walt in Fuquay-Varina. They were like the parents to some of their younger neighbors. Walt passed away several years ago; I was sad for our loss but happy for him to be with God in heaven.
He loved his dear wife Alice and his family, neighbors and church family. He had the sweetest personality; was always helpful and kind. I remember after my husband died, I was quite lost about what I should do about visitors for his funeral. Walt, Alice and Lou Jean, (Alice’s sister) somehow knew I had no idea how to set up for visitation in the home. So they and my second sister and her husband came and vacuumed my living room; moved the furniture and brought out some extra chairs for company. Alice asked other neighbors in our cul-de-sac to bring food for the reception at my house.
My husband, son and I visited them often and we loved to play Mexican Train with them. Our son moved out when he was at Wake Tech. But my husband and I always found their company delightful. Even though they were much older than we were Alice and Walt would playfully fuss like two kids about the game and who was playing what. They made us laugh and we loved them dearly.
The winter after my husband died I didn’t know how to turn on the gas logs, because my husband had always done that. I asked Walt for help. He came over with a flash light and we both got down on our stomachs to see the mechanism. Walt showed me how to turn on the pilot line and light the fire.
As Walt aged he developed behavior problems because of dementia. His responses were slower but his smile was sweet and kind as ever. Alice kept him at home and cared for him. They had friends at church and family who checked in on them often. I moved to Cary, about 16 miles (30 minutes away).
I went to visit as often as I could. Once when Walt was just starting to show the signs of confusion, I knew he loved to sing, so I got a hymnal out and we sang together for a while to let Alice have some time to herself for a nap. He could still sing and remember the words to most of the hymns.
As his condition worsened I knew they loved Kentucky Fried Chicken, but the local one there had closed. So I picked up a Chicken pot pie for them on the way and visited with them.
I was unable to attend the funeral but I know there were many people there. Everyone had only good things to say about Walt and his sweet nature.
In fact the only time I knew of him getting mad was when he stopped too briefly at a stop sign near their house. He went on and on about how he had stopped but it just wasn’t long enough for the policeman. I believe it was the only traffic ticket he had ever gotten for many years.
Walt, you are not forgotten. You were always kind, gentle, funny, helpful, and loving. We all still think of you and miss you. Alice is still living in their home and keeps up the yard and house. She and her sister are still living. I miss them too. They are still sweet loving people that anyone would love to have for a neighbor.
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