Wednesday, May 9, 2018

RIP Uncle Hank

My uncle, Hank Folsom, was my mother's younger brother, and the youngest of 4 siblings.  I believe he was 90 when he died 5/8/18, making him also the longest lived of the siblings.  He also has the most descendants of any of the siblings, including, 3 children;  I think 8 grandchildren and I'm not sure how many great grandchildren.

In recent years, he has been the glue that kept the family together -- as he made sure to see everyone as they passed through either of the two homes he frequented, one in Randolph, NH and one in Guilford, CT.

He was a retired Episcopal priest, and graduate of Yale.  He was atypical for an Episcopalian in being Evangelical and Charismatic in his beliefs and practices -- and in being a big game hunter, with a house full of hunting trophies.  He also wrote a book about hunting.  He was also an artist who liked to paint Eastern Orthodox style icons, again not typical for an Episcopalian.  His parish for the longest part of his career was in Old Saybrook, CT

He was a warm, charming, affectionate man and never unpleasant about how he advanced his views, which were contrary to those of many of our family.

His first wife, Peeko, predeceased him.  His second wife, Clare, survives him. I particularly want to thank my aunt, Clare, for the extraordinary care she provided him in his declining years.

My condolences to all family members.

There's a lot more to say -- and I may add to this blog.  That's one of my habits to keep editing blogs.

I chose spring colors because it is spring -- and also because of his strong beliefs in salvation, so that death is only a beginning.



Some trivia I know about my uncle
  • my grandmother was only in labor for 45 minutes during his birth. I referred to this in my YouTube video The Birth of my Second Child because my mom failed to warn me that there was a history of precipitous delivery in my family.
  • he played football in college at Yale
  • his father and grandfather were in secret societies at Yale.  I think they were called Wolf's Head and Skull & Bones, respectively
  • he inherited the family business, because he was the only boy
  • after the business failed, he found he had a gift for ministry, which turned out to be really good for him for the rest of his life
  • he had vacation homes in Randolph, NH and Nova Scotia -- and he later retired to Randolph.
  • he was a great hiker and jogger in his younger years
  • he administered the family tradition of the "oar," which my grandfather got from Yale and was to be handed over to the next person in the family who rowed crew at Yale -- OR who beat Yale at crew.  That turned out to be my first cousin once removed Kristi Stoddard -- a female from Harvard.  My grandfather would have been very surprised to learn this.  
  • I was always struck by his large, muscular calves, a nice family trait.  If we had lived in colonial times, he would not have had to put balloons in his stockings in order to look good in the knickers and stocking fashion that they had back then.
  • he attended Newark Academy, prior to Yale.  I once met a banker at my local bank who knew him there.
  • link to photos I took of his trophy room
  • He actually sort of arranged the marriages of his two older kids, by introducing them to attractive young women in his congregation.  Those marriages worked out very well, which is interesting for people who think arranged marriages are bad.  
  • He was a specialist in trivia about Sherlock Holmes
My cousin posted a photo of him hiking on FB. He was really handsome, obviously.

I'm trying to improve my graphic.  Just a few subtle changes. I'm trying to decide if I'm printing this out on canvas or not -- whether I'm going to give it to someone.


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  2. What a lovely tribute to your Uncle Hank! I had looked forward to meeting him in Randolph this summer and I'm sorry to have missed the opportunity to make his acquaintance. My heartfelt condolences to you, to Clare, and to the rest of the family. With Love, ~ Val