When Phyllis Campbell passed away on Christmas Eve 2018 Eric lost his wife of over 50 years.
Now a solitary white bench overlooking the sea in Torry, is the place where he goes to reflect on their life together.
Originally from Fife, Phyllis, whose maiden name was Hughes, was born on September 5 1939.
She met Eric, who was doing an engineering apprenticeship in Leven, because she lived next door to one of Eric’s aunts.
Hailing from St Monans, Phyllis married Eric in 1963 and in 1972 they moved from the Kingdom of Fife to the north-east.
Making Torry home
“For the first five years we lived in Stonehaven then we moved to Torry for my work.
“It was easier for the children too, as our eldest was going to university,” said Eric, who still lives in Torry. “We always loved our lives here.”
Eric and Phyllis, who worked as an assistant in a chemist’s and later as a home help, had three children, Alan, Philip and Jennifer. They would later welcome six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren into the family.
A sad loss
Phyllis died on December 24 2018, age 79.
“She hadn’t been very well for quite a wee while. Phyllis has been diagnosed with vascular dementia. It’s a particularly sad disease because it robs you of that person,” added Eric.
Phyllis’ funeral took place at St Fittick’s Church in Torry, and she was laid to rest at Hazlehead.
Now, a memorial to Phyllis remains on a white bench overlooking the sea near Torry Battery. A silver plaque bearing her name and the date of her death sits between two other memorial plaques.
Eric added: “When you bury someone, until the headstone is installed, you are offered a a temporary wooden cross with a plaque on it. This is what happened for Phyllis’ grave.
“When the headstone went up they gave me the plaque back.”
He knew just where the plaque should go.
“We used to go up there [to the Battery] all the time. I was actually just up there last night. It was a special place for us so I decided to add the plaque to the memorial bench there.
“There were already several badges attached. It’s a place I go to, to remember my wife and the times we had together.”