1930 - 2009

His funeral took place on Monday, 5th October. Don was born and grew up in Hemyock, did his National service in the RAF, then met Mary and they married in 1954. He started working in the building trade, initially working for his father, then Miller & Lilley and moved to Honiton in 1959. He worked for many years as a sales rep for a number of builders merchants and plumbing merchants, travelling to customers all around Devon and Somerset for Miller & Lilley, Rowe Brothers, Graham Rowe and Double Tee. Because of all the travelling he knew the roads well and the location of every public toilet and fish and chip shop.

Don and Mary have two sons and he was immensely proud of his four granddaughters, Emma, Nicola, Madeleine and Vivienne. Neil and Mayo presented him with a grandson just three months ago, but sadly, Don never got to see Benjamin.

After his family, his two great loves were Exeter City and Bellringing.

Don had played football for Hemyock and managed youth teams at Honiton when both Neil and Gary played. He was a supporter and season ticketholder at Exeter City for many years, rarely missing a home game and travelled away to many games including organising coach trips for supporters from Honiton to places such as Wolverhampton, Cardiff, Leicester and Tottenham. He often berated the referees. He had not been able to go to many matches in recent months but kept in touch by listening to radio commentaries at home on Saturday afternoons under his headphones.

Don started bellringing at the age of 10 and continued this throughout his life. He was captain of the Honiton Ringers for 18 years and was Deputy Ringing Master for the East Devon Guild for 16 years. He rang a total of 37 peals and 1,728 quarter peals, of which he conducted 288. He managed to ring at nearly every church in Devon, enjoyed his outings to all parts of the South West, knowing about most of the bells and always let us know how many bells there were and what they were like. ‘A pretty little six or a heavy old eight.’

After he retired, he was part of a ‘senior group’ that went off each week, rang a quarter peal in the morning, had a pub lunch and rang another quarter peal in the afternoon, days he thoroughly enjoyed.

He had a traditional and good moral upbringing, very clear on right and wrong. He has passed on to his family the sense of doing things right and a strong moral code. He would constantly remind the boys – Manners Maketh Man – among many other sayings.

He touched the lives of so many people, which is clear from the number of people who attended the funeral.



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Central Council of Church Bell Ringers