Letter from Matthew Booth, 8/13/05: "Exiting stage left"
Thank you for your kind words and sympathy at this difficult time. I have just arrived from LA, where I am a film editor, and am writing to you from James' desk and computer. I also have just viewed the wonderful site you created honoring my father for which I thank you.
Dad was not ill at the time of his passing, merely slowed by his age but mentally still sharp as a knife, and a great leader of our very close family. He was even planning one of his regular trips to visit us, and his friends, in Los Angeles next month. We had joked last week on the phone that he better get his tanning oil ready as it has been rather warm there lately. The weather he always enjoyed.
On Thursday morning, the 11th, my Mother brought him a cup of tea in bed where he complained of a slight tummy ache but in a good mood. They chatted as he looked out at the Thames estuary, a beautifull view from their room on that sunny morning. My mother went to hang some clothes in the closet and when she returned he was gone. Quickly and silently, as she thought he had gone back to sleep. Although we all wished to have much more time with him, I am grateful that he passed so peacefully without numerous hospital visits that he would have hated. "Exiting stage left" as he would have preferred. He was still writing screenplays up to the end as I am discovering on his computer. Perhaps my brother and I shall complete them for him. And how wonderful that his last performance was with such a great talent as Maggie Smith.
We are conducting his Funeral this Thursday in Essex near where he spent his childhood. Quite pleasant as after seeing so much of the world in his life that he should come back to his roots. I will confer with my Mother as to where might be best for any of his fans to post their condolences. I believe The Times and other papers will be featuring pieces on James and his career in their upcoming obituaries.
Once again my family and I thank you for your kind words and admiring interest in Dads' work. We will all miss him very very much.
Flowers, cards, etc. can be sent to the following address, where the funeral will take place Thursday, 8/18/05, at 1 PM:
James Booth Service
C/O Stibbards & Sons,
4 Commonhall Lane,
Essex, SS7 2RN