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Rick McBride THE remarkable life ofWendall “Rick” McBride (86), who lived for 26 years between Lenham and Grafty Green, was com- memorated at his funeral near Canter- bury.


Born in America’s “motor city” Detroit, cars featured throughout his working life. Rick was raised in Canada and moved to Califor- nia as a teenager. He served in the US forces during the Korean War, later claiming the experience “made a man” of him, and returned to a remarkable career starting in graphic design. He founded his own advertising business, tak- ing on projects including or- ganising and managing motor shows. Among his achieve- ments were themanagement of the first motor show in Mexico and a portfolio of advertising clients, including high-perfor- mance car brands such as Fer- rari and Aston Martin. Rick worked for Ferrari as an official photographer, attending motorsport events and count- ing Formula One drivers such as Stirling Moss as personal friends. He met his wife of 48 years,


Valerie (a renowned English model working in Italy), when she was posing on a Ferrari he was photographing. In the 1970s, the couple moved to Valerie’s native Kent and Rick’s subsequentwork in- cluded writing about period homes for a top of the range magazine and publishing his own book, The Good Coffee Guide, in 1992. Rick moved to Bishops- bourne, near Canterbury, six years ago. In the weeks before his death he finished a novel he hadworked on for a decade; his friends are currently working to ensure it is published. Rick leaves widow Valerie.


Ruby Oakley RUBY May Oakley (109), who lived for 28 years in Biddenden Close, Bearsted, was Kent’s old- est resident and the 28th oldest person in the UK. Born Ruby Bennell in Kings


Lynn, Norfolk, she married husband of 34 years Fred Oakley, an ac- countant. The couple ran a dairy business in St Albans and raised son John.


They retired to New Romney


and – after Fred’s death in 1976 – Ruby moved locally. Grand- daughter Sarah Milligan said: “She was a lovely grandma, sin- gle-minded and determined, but also kind, caring and very gener-


40 East


We will remember ous. “My grandma was involved in


the Bearsted branch of the Moth- ers’ Union for years. She finally stopped going when she was 100 and didn’tmoveinto Barty House care home until she was 105.” Ruby’s son pre-deceased her.


She leaves her daughter-in-law Myra, granddaughters Sarah and Alex, grandson Robert and great- grandchildren Jack and Freya.


WayneWeeks COXHEATH’SWayneWeeks (33) made local headlines whenhe at- tended “Super Saturday” at the London Olympics, ful- filling a life- time ambition. It took the ef-


forts of local journalists and MP Helen Grant to bring this about, as Wayne was already battling two types of leukaemia. Raised in East Malling,Wayne


began work locally as a labourer and warehouseman. He met his partner of 12 years, Shelley, on- line and eventually began work- ing with her at LC Designs in Aylesford. He rose from ware- housework, through the accounts office to become a management accountant. Wayne and Shelley married in


2010 and had son Olly 16months ago. Prior to living in Coxheath they lived inWalderslade. Shelley said: “People found


Wayne to be really likeable, he was warm, funny, relaxed and had a really off-beat sense of hu- mour. He had a wonderful qual- ity of taking each day as it came and managed to remain positive in the face of his illness. “Despite the problems, he fought it and had some break- throughs that amazed the doctors and brought us some hope. Wayne loved all sports, especially golf, which he played as well as followed, and was a lifelong sup- porter of Manchester City Foot- ball Club.”Wayne leaves his wife, son, sisters Zoe and Emma and parents Mandy and Phil.


Carol Alchin SRN CAROL Alchin lived in the Maidstone and Bearsted areas, with Richard, for nearly 50 years. Carol was a dedicated nurse who loved caring for people. She worked in the West Kent, Maidstone Dis- trict


and


Somerfield Hospitals,where shemademany enduring friendships. Carol loved playing tennis and badminton and was active in these sports until late 2012.


Many friends attended her fu-


neral at Holy Cross on February 7, butdue to timing constraints to get to Charing crematorium, the family could not meet all of these friends at the church. Richard and the family would like to thank all of those who came to the church for their support. Carol passed away quite unex- pectedly at Maidstone Hospital, where she received themost fan- tastic attention from all the nurs- ing staff and doctors who did all they could, and the familywould like to thank them. She leaves husband Richard, daughter Julie and sons Nick, Nigel and Jeff, along with seven, soon to be eight, grandchildren. A statement from the family


said: “Carol was a lovely person. She was loved by all who knew her. She had a lovely, smiley out- going personality and will be deeply missed.”


Brian Cannell BRIAN Cannell (76) had lived in Heather Drive, Maidstone, for about 50 years. He was known for his decades long involvement with teaching art at Senacre School and from the life- long involve- ment he had with All Saints’ Church. There, he went from boy chorister to a tour guide and resident artist, providing visual work for a range of materials, like sing-a- long sheets. Born in Albion Place, he had


also lived in Melville Road. Brian was educated at South Borough School and Maidstone Grammar School before going on to Maidstone College of Art and Goldsmiths College, where he completed his teacher train- ing.


His only significant work out-


side the area was teaching in Bagshot. Prior to working at Senacre, he taught at Clare Park, East Malling. A bachelor, Brian was a carer


for his mother in the final years of her life. Brother Keith said: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the respect and affection people held for Brian. “Former pupils – now in middle age – have paid tribute to the impact he made on their lives and All Saints’ Church have said how much he will be missed.” Brian had also played cricket forWest Farleigh.


Joan Humphryes JOAN Margaret Humphryes (81) lived on the Ashford Road, Bearsted for over 40 years. Born as Joan Burr in Kingsley


Road, she attended the local girls’ technical school and worked at


You can e-mail the Downs Mail — info@downsmail.co.uk


Len Cabinet Works in Gabriel’s Hill before marrying husband of over 60 years, Brian. The couple have one son, Paul. Brian spent


over two sea- sons as Maid- stone United’s first choice goalkeeper and worked for Reed’s Paper, a job that took the couple through seven house moves around the country until he returned as works manager for Reed’s in Aylesford. The couple’s previous homes


had included Birmingham, Chel- tenham and the Forest of Dean. Brian said: “Joan was a lovely person: quiet, gentle and very supportive of others. I have a houseful of cards saying how well loved shewas. “We loved to visit National


Trust properties together. Joan was anexcellentpianistwhohad qualified to grade eight and loved to play at home. She loved trav- elling and really enjoyed visiting Canada.” Joan leaves her husband, son and her twin sister Jean.


Tommy King THE larger than life story of Shepway’sTommyKing (49)was marked with a lively funeral that included a lengthy cortege of his fellow bikers, with Tommy’s Harley Davidson taking pride of place. Born locally, Tommy worked


as a mechanic and electrician andwasknownfor hisworkput- tingupmarquees and stages with best friend “Jonah” David Hughes Jones. Friends and family shared sto-


ries including some relating to Tommy’s unique brand of culi- nary creations, such as pickled sprouts. A serious bike accident in the


1990s had resulted in Tommy losing a leg and one famous story from later years involved a mo- torist running Tommy off his Harley Davidson on the Pilgrims Way, an encounter that led to Tommy’s prosthetic leg falling off. As Tommy said to the mo- torist he would “sort it out” the motorist passed out. Tommy leaves his father Der-


rick, brother Matthew, sister Sally and nieces Tilly, Gemma, Alice-Rose and Jamie.


The Stone Shop Memorials. Any natural stone supplied, lettered and installed anywhere. Inscriptions added to existing memorials Renovations and memorial cleaning


The Stone Shop Station Hill, East Farleigh, Kent.


01622 726633


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