So, Huey. You finally got him. You finally got our dad, Richard Charles “Dick” Peever. Took you almost 87 years, but you did it. Every time he banged his head, hammered a thumb, cut a finger or suffered through another self-inflicted injury working on one of his “inventions,” he cursed you with some of the most colourful profanity in the English language. I can still see him, red-faced, rubbing his sore head with one hand, the other clenched in a fist pointing to the sky, hissing through gritted teeth, “You won’t get me today, Huey. Not today!” For some reason unknown to the rest of us, and to abide by his disdain of all things orthodox, he chose the name Huey to avoid referencing God in any declaration or plea to a higher power.
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Any chance you read local letters to the editor, Huey? The name Richard Peever was at the bottom of quite a few. Dad sent many manifestos to area newspapers extolling egalitarianism, a philosophy he truly believed in. He was convinced if he got the word out, “the people” would embrace it too, and the perfect society would emerge. Dad was a man of few words but had a brilliant mind full of ideas he thought would make the world a better place. Unfortunately, he was born an introvert with an annoying tendency to mumble which frustrated the hell out of him and most everyone he talked to. A funny story for you, Huey... once, when Dad was working away from home for Ontario Hydro, he went to the local diner for supper. It was a miserable, rainy night, and in a rare attempt to make small talk with the waitress, he said “Dirty night, eh?” Without answering him, she stormed off, marched back to his table, slammed a knife down and said “There. Is that clean enough for you?” That story absolutely exemplified his quirky sense of humour. Keep him off politics and religion, Huey, and you’ll be in the company of a pretty funny guy; rub him the wrong way, and you will suffer his wrath.
To his kids, Huey, all five of us, he was the strongest man on earth. He was the yardstick the boys measured up to and the protector the girls could count on. As hard as he was to live with sometimes, it will be harder to live without him.
Hope you’re up to the task of traveling alongside dad on his new journey, Huey. And fair warning: I wouldn’t start any arguments.
Cheryl, Dale, Darwin, Lincoln and Terry Lynn.
Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life to take place at a later date. Condolences, contributions and memorial candles may be left at www.mcdonaldfuneralhome.ca.