ALONE BUT NOT UN­NO­TICED

PressReader - Tke Channel - ALONE BUT NOT UN­NO­TICED
Lloyd Maxwell’s noon-hour funeral ser­vice on Wed­nes­day at Beech­wood Ceme­tery took less than seven min­utes, his flag-draped cof­fin low­ered into the ground shortly af­ter Rev. Jef­frey King sprin­kled holy wa­ter and poured sand on the cas­ket in the shape of a cross.“May his soul and the souls of all the faith­ful de­parted, through the mercy of God, rest in peace,” King said. “Amen.”In the dis­tance, un­der steel-grey skies, a bu­gle played The Last Post. It would be nice to think it was play­ing for Maxwell, who served from 1969 to 1971 as a re­servist with the Black Watch (Royal High­land Reg­i­ment) of Canada, but that was not the case. Those par­tic­u­lar notes and their tim­ing were a co­in­ci­dence, mark­ing some­one else’s pass­ing, in an­other sec­tion of the ceme­tery.Lloyd Theodore Maxwell died of nat­u­ral causes on July 22, home­less but for those he knew in his fi­nal hand­ful of years in res­i­dence at the Sal­va­tion Army Booth Cen­tre shel­ter in the ByWard Mar­ket. He was 65.Of the 10 peo­ple, of­fi­cials and re­porter ex­cluded, who at­tended his funeral, eight were vol­un­teers with VETS Canada, a na­tional non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that aims to as­sist Cana­dian vet­er­ans who are in cri­sis, home­less, or at risk of be­com­ing home­less. The other two were chil­dren of a VETS vol­un­teer.“He’s one of ours,” said Richard MacCal­lum, a VETS Canada vol­un­teer, “and it’s stan­dard pro­ce­dure in the Cana­dian Forces: We never leave a man alone.“I know the man died alone. My­self, I pre­fer to be there in his last mo­ments to pray with him, but this is a good way for us to share and pray for him.”We all die alone. But Maxwell’s death did not go un­no­ticed, not byHe was just a happy, soft­spo­ken, pos­i­tive man who didn’t need much in life. He said he had it all at one time ...those at the Booth Cen­tre, where Maxwell held doors open for oth­ers and, when he spoke, al­ways had a kind word.In fact, so much was he tied to the rou­tine and the peo­ple at the Booth Cen­tre, that when he was first ap­proached by VETS Canada a year and a half ago about mov­ing to a home where he would re­ceive bet­ter round-the-clock care, he de­murred, in­sist­ing he wanted to stay where he was.“His motto was ‘One day at a time,’ ” said VETS vol­un­teer and Maxwell’s lead worker So­nia Car­rier. “He was a very com­pas­sion­ate man. Ev­ery time I saw him he would ask about my par­ents and my brother.“He was just a happy, soft­spo­ken, pos­i­tive man who didn’t need much in life,” she added. “He said he had it all at one time, and it didn’t make him hap­pier. I just lost my dad in March, and ev­ery time I looked at Lloyd, I thought, that could have been my dad in that sit­u­a­tion.”Ac­cord­ing to Jeremy Brown, a Sal­va­tion Army res­i­dent who had known him for al­most four years, Maxwell was “a very kind man who would do what­ever he could for you.“He was an old soul with a good sense of hu­mour, and I don’t think you could find any­one here with any­thing bad to say about him. That’s the type of guy he was. He was a fix­ture around here, in a pos­i­tive way.”Lit­tle is known about Maxwell. He was born in North Syd­ney, N.S., in Oc­to­ber 1952. His fa­ther’s given name was John. Fol­low­ing his time in the mil­i­tary, he worked with On­tario Hy­dro. He had a brother who lives, or lived, some­where on the East Coast. He never mar­ried or had chil­dren. His next of kin was listed as the Last Post Fund, a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing that ev­ery vet­eran re­ceives a dig­ni­fied funeral, burial and mil­i­tary head­stone, re­gard­less of their fi­nances. The or­ga­ni­za­tion paid for Maxwell’s cer­e­mony and burial.Maxwell was an early riser, up by 4:30 a.m. most days and out the door to pick up a McDon­ald’s cof­fee, a blue­berry muf­fin and the Ot­tawa Sun — he liked to keep up on cur­rent events — which he would take with him back to the Booth Cen­tre cafe­te­ria for break­fast.In the af­ter­noons, he might be found at a nearby Tim Hor­tons, not for the cof­fee so much as for the com­pany of his friends. He liked sports, par­tic­u­larly foot­ball and Ot­tawa Se­na­tors hockey, and karaoke. He also boxed in his youth, and claimed to have com­peted in the 1976 Olympics in Mon­treal, an au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal de­tail not sup­ported by re­search.He also said he was dis­tantly re­lated to the Maxwell House cof­fee man­u­fac­turer, also un­likely given that the com­pany was not named for a founder.But he did have the hands of a boxer, and of­ten said that if there were any prob­lems with peo­ple at the cen­tre, he would stand up and fight.“He al­ways had peo­ple’s backs,” said one woman at the cen­tre who asked not to be named.“I found that ad­mirable be­cause it’s such a fight-or-flight en­vi­ron­ment here, yet he had that care for other peo­ple. Lloyd was one of the sweet­est guys kick­ing around here.”“A lot of peo­ple here were up­set when they found out he’d passed away,” added Brown.“I miss the guy al­ready.”

Rev. Jef­frey King pre­sides over the funeral for Lloyd Maxwell, be­low, a home­less vet­eran who lived at the Sal­va­tion Army. Thanks to Vets Canada, about a dozen peo­ple at­tended the ser­vice on Wed­nes­day.

© PressReader. All rights reserved.