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Friday, September 04, 2009

Pencil portrait of Richard L. Taylor of Leonard TX


This is a Memorial Portrait I did of my Uncle, Richard Lafayette Taylor, of Leonard Texas. I did this one in pencil on bristol paper for my Aunt Ruth.

Uncle 'R.L.' was a licensed funeral director for 40 years. His total number of funerals directed is unknown, although it's estimated that it was well over 2,000. He performed funerals for people in up to 8 nearby counties.

I have a newspaper article about my uncle dated 2002, after his death. The article mentions many times about how Uncle RL would show his compassion and love for people...not seen in facial expression, but by his actions, and that there were many kind things that he did that were unknown.

My uncle lived in Texas and I lived in Michigan while growing up, so I'd only see him every two years or so, but he was a special uncle to me and made a big impression. I remember once when I was about 12, he let me come in while he prepared the body of a deceased elderly lady. He took great care and his professionalism was evident. This was at the stage where makeup is applied and the final touches of jewelry, etc are added. His goal was to prepare her to be in a lifelike pose, to cover the bruising she had from the IV tubes with a lace handkerchief, to spare her family from seeing her that way. The goal was compassion and service to the family of the person. It was not a horrible experience for me - if anything, it made me less afraid of death.

3 comments:

The Victorious place said...

This sounds like a wonderful uncle that you had. The way you wrote the post about him made me able to see it all in my mind as clear as day. What a wonderful memory and a lovely drawing.

Darla, Pencil Portrait Artist said...

He was a very good guy, he helped me know how something many people think is 'gruesome' is actually a service that aids in healing of those left behind. Thanks for commenting!

Suzanne said...

Hi, this comment may not even reach you, since I'm commenting on a post that is about 5 months old...but...

I was blogging today and came upon yours. Then I visited your website, and really enjoyed it as well. You have a wonderful talent...I really enjoyed viewing your work.

But this post really caught my eye. My father was born and raised in Leonard, TX, and I've visited my grandparents many times over the summers as a child growing up. Perhaps I met your Uncle since both of my grandparents have passed and are now "resting" in Leonard soil.
Your Uncle sounds like a wonderful man.