E.F. continued in business, having no desire to retire although in about 1969 he suffered a slight collapse, was hospitalised and operated upon. Alice notified his daughter, Ruth, and she flew up to be with him at that time. Both Phillip and I were very against his having this operation but the surgeon hinted that he might have cancer and that if he did not have the operation I would have to accept the responsibility. Alice called in a faith healer and believed that he had cured the problem, but still felt it necessary for the operation to take place.
One day while he was in hospital, before our daily visit to the hospital, I picked a bunch of spring flowers from the garden and arranged them in a goblet for him. They did look so fresh and pretty. Three nurses came in, individually, to remark on them, which surprised me considering all the hundreds of professionally arranged vases that were sent to the hospital patients from florists.
The surgeon, not finding the problem that had been diagnosed, removed a gallstone. Eric never recovered his full strength from that time and died three years later, during the night, after a particularly happy and enjoyable day, on 7th December, 1972. The cause of death was from an aneurysm of the aorta. His son, Lennox phoned to notify his daughter in Cape Town that he was fading; Alice and his three sons were with him when he passed away.
The following day Phillip and Ruth, his daughter, flew up to Johannesburg to attend the funeral and a few days later they returned to Cape Town on the Blue Train.
It may be of interest to note that two of his nephews, Allan and Ivan Goulding, the sons of his sister, Ethel, both died from an aneurysm of the aorta as Eric did.
A strange co-incidence occurred insofar as there was an American couple (their surname was White) who only visited 'Graystones' twice; the first time they were there was when Warwick was born in the house (not at a maternity home, but in my father's bedroom, which he had taken great care to make as comfortable and suitable for the birth as possible, even raising the bed by placing sixteen bricks wrapped in strong layers of brown paper under each bed leg) and these Americans were staying there again at the time of my father's death.
After his death Warwick remained at 'Graystones' where he had been staying in order to study at a 'cramming' college so that he might pass his matriculation. When it was time for his vacation, his father drove up to Johannesburg to fetch him home to Gordons Bay in the Cape and Alice took this opportunity to send certain items in the Kombi van with them that she no longer wished to have in the house. These were, of course, mainly things associated with my mother, such as a firescreen she had completed embroidering; the English Display cabinet, a number of pieces of china and so on.