Rest in peace my brother. Although I only met Calvin a couple of times and talked to him on the phone a little more than that, I sensed he was truly a kind, sensitive, wonderful man. My only regret is that I did not get to know him better and spend more time with him. Nevertheless, he will always be in my heart. Love you Calvin....
May only our fondest memories of your loved one be the pleasant ones we each hold dear to our hearts. He will be missed. We will keep the family in our prayers.
To Joe ,Marion, Marion ,Pansy, Bobina and the Williams's Family.
Death separates us physically from each other but enables us to enter into a constant mental and spiritual relationship of eternity.
May the memory of his years with us be eulogized and may the soul of our brother rest in the Lord.
Edwin, Sally and Family
EULOGY FOR CALVIN LINDLEY WILLIAMS
“Nice and Easy”
When my sister-in-law Pansy, also known as May, asked me to deliver the eulogy for my brother, my first reaction was a big lump in my throat—realizing for real that he is no longer with us. But after thinking about it, and of him for a very few minutes, I thought to myself “that's got to be real easy to do because he was always “NICE AND EASY”.
Calvin, “CL”, “Cal,” was born in Grenada on January, 1933 the first of two children of Ralph and Ruth Williams. In Grenada, he was known as the handsome, quiet one, who looked and behaved like his mother---nice and easy; not like his younger brother, who, like their father, talked all the time. Because of his good looks and demeanor CL was quietly very popular with the ladies, and admired by all for his calm easygoing style. That characteristic turned out to be a major asset for his younger brother who took good advantage of that every chance he got. Nonetheless, he taught me how to fly a kite, make a slingshot, and set a bird trap---among other things.
As a teenage schoolboy, he attended the Grenada Boys Secondary School, where his focus was in the Sciences---especially Mathematics, Physics and Botany. He was the wicket keeper for the school's cricket team and a founding member of “Maestros”--- a steelband whose members were his classmates. One of the members of that band (Cecil Haywood), a lifelong buddy of his, is here today. So you see, since his youth, he was a man of not too many words (most of the time), but a man with varied interests, knowledge, and talents – namely music, science, and sports.
Oh, but there are more “Calvin traits”--- some more obvious than others. One of these I would call “UNDISTURBABLE”.
I mentioned our youthful “Piano escapades” earlier. That was an example of how difficult it was to get him to show his displeasure with someone or something. He would rather shrug it away than have a fight---“NICE AND EASY”. Don't get me wrong, he stood his ground all right, and would almost always get his way, but his preference was always to be non-confrontational---even tempered and even keeled. You see, Calvin was always well-grounded in the things and people he loved, and he had that assurance that they will always be there. …”NICE AND EASY”.
His sports? He loved baseball and knew the names and records of almost all of the players of his favorite teams -- the Milwaukee Braves from the mid-fifties on to the Atlanta Braves. The same for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Yankees. But his favorite sport has always been cricket. While attending New York University and later Brooklyn College, he found time to travel all the way from Brooklyn to Van Cortland Park near White Plains, to play with fellows from various parts of the British Commonwealth---with Pansy and friends cheering him on.
His other love? Music! That I believe was his first love. He loved to listen to jazz, travel out of state to jazz concerts, download music from the radio and create cassette albums of jazz, calypso, and of course,-- steelband.
I often wondered where and how he found the time in between his job as Production Manager at Radio Receptor Inc. in NYC, and later at the USPS International Mail Administration, to do all this, while playing bass for the most popular steel band in New York—the Ferritones”. Perhaps, he gained his management skills while working with our dad in the family business in Grenada. He was co-founder, band manager, and Union Representative of the Ferritones. One of the members of that band, Neville Emmanuel, is here today. That band played at Carnegie Hall, at the homes of the rich and famous in the Hamptons, for neighborhood parties and for cruise ships in dock. He sure got around! It is no wonder that he knew the NY subway and the highways of New York like the back of his hand. Among many West Indians in Brooklyn, Calvin was “the yellow pages” for travel directions.
Most of you may not know that while he was in New York, he was an avid bowler, participating in club competitions and winning several trophies and prizes . . . overcrowding Pansy's family room!
Besides his family---other things he loved? Oh boy---his cars! I think he believed cars were people! He cared for them as his children and kept them forever. He kept a burgundy and black Plymouth alive, and in top shape, long after Chrysler forgot that they once made them. But his early education in the applied sciences did not prevent him from developing a love for some of the “softer things” in life. He loved gardening, perhaps because of his earlier studies in botany? Those who knew the home in Queens would certainly recall the manicured yard, with beautiful, neatly edged rows of flowers and bushes, and how much he enjoyed spending time with them -- “NICE AND EASY”.
He once told me when he was retiring to Florida, “that the only thing I'm going to do is RETIRE and do absolutely nothing.” But he lied. He could not give up his love of bowling, for which he was so well-known in New York. So in Florida, besides bowling, he spent time listening and taping his music, sharing his carefully hand-labeled cassettes with friends and family, and going with his friends to watch cricket on television. He decided to slow down; enjoying his family and friends ---very contented – “NICE AND EASY”.
So, perhaps Calvin's varied background and interests, (some passive and some active) might help explain why he was so content, so easygoing, and so UNDISTURBABLE ---. He had done it all!
I mentioned earlier that he had traits that were not always obvious. One , of course, was that he was UNDISTURBALE. The other trait was his SILENT, DEEP, AND ABIDING LOVE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS. If you, as a family member, wished to see Mr. UNDISTURBABLE get upset and concerned, just say you will be somewhere at a certain time and not be there. He would pace the floor, keep looking out the window, even walk several blocks in the direction that he expected you to be coming from. Once he even drove about a mile and a half to look out for someone who was on the way to his house! What love and caring!
His familiar greeting to those close to him was --“Yeah Baby!” That meant a lot to us, because we knew it came from the heart. He and Pansy worked hard (sometimes two or three jobs) to provide for their immediate and extended family ,and I know after he retired he felt completely fulfilled as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and a true friend.
As his brother, I'm glad that I had the opportunity, while he was alive and well, to thank him and Pansy for accepting me into their home when I came to this country in 1958, and for giving me the start that I needed. Whatever I've achieved since, I owe it all to them.
Finally, although Calvin's is no longer with us, let's all remember that HE DID IT HIS WAY. He married a lovely, lovely lady, (my only sister-in-law), lived a very active and productive life, raised a beautiful family, retired, and decided he just wanted to take life easy. About ten years ago he was faced with a health challenge; and with the diligence, and tender loving care of his dear wife, and the help of some very special friends, he survived through those years with little or no fuss, and none of the unusual behaviors usually associated with his illness. He just gradually, gracefully, quietly, and gently left -- “NICE AND EASY”.
By: Ralph O. “Joe” Williams. July 2014