Monday, June 26, 2017

Farewell Sendoff to an Old Friend

RIP Steve Elsbrie
1960 - 2017

RIP old Friend
On Saturday, TaGeez and I crossed the mighty Detroit River to send off a helluva good guy. Dear Othum was laid to rest at his final GZ.

It was a Geocacher's funeral, and Othum thought of everything! There was a separate room for geocaching friends to socialize. Friends from as far away as Grand Rapids descended to pay their final respect.

In the geocacher's room were a log book made by his friend, Yeti. Othum had bid on a similar one at the Winter MIGO Social but lost out so Yeti made a personalized one for him. Yeti did a fabulous job!

Geocachers have signed the logbook at the memorial and then the family handed it to eM-Burr to take around to the events. eM-Burr has added a trackable as a final memento of this great man.

It was a highlight seeing the ammo can created by Carl for Othum. We dropped trackables, signature items and swag into the box for Othum's send-off. TaGeez and I added our signature card and MWGB path tags. 

At the altar in the main room, Othum, a retired Sargeant in the Canadian military and passionate geocacher, was laid to rest with his ashes in an ammo can. I was fine until I saw Othum's signature hat resting next to it. 

It was a lovely and lively funeral service. The Father was a hoot. I suppressed giggles as the two soloists had a go at Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds  (the audience hefted lighters in appreciation). After a few more words and prayers and a group Amazing Grace, former members of his military unit gave Othum a military send off. 

It was a beautiful blue day as we drove a dozen miles to the cemetery. I teared up to see oncoming cars pull off to the side of the road in respect for this total stranger. I've never seen that before.

The final service was brief and loving. He was sent off with a final reveille. It wasn't until the group disbursed that I could see his headstone - it has the geocaching logo on it! He planned it to the end! A great man. I'm so glad we were able to send him off. 

It was quite the novelty as the other cars pulled out of the cemetery. We, the geocachers, didn't have to slip off quietly to the nearest caches. Othum was a geocacher - I'm sure we had his blessing, LadyB4T, DeRock and the Psychic Cacher, TaGeez and I spent the rest of the afternoon geocaching together in his honor.

Othum, thanks for the adventure!

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