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downsmail.co.uk Joan Benne


JOAN Benne (88) lived for 54 years in Coxheath and had previously lived in Bearsted and Staplehurst. Born Joan Houilibecq on Guernsey, she


was evacuated to Dorset and Lancashire during the war. Joan met Roy, her husband of almost 65 years, when she worked in a café on Guernsey, and the couple moved to Bearsted to live with his parents. Joan was mother to


Paul, Alan, Peter and Neil and worked as an orderly at Linton Hospital for 22 years.


Roy said: “Joan dedicated her life to her family.We travelled all over the world, and Joan had been to see our eldest son in New Zealand nine times as well as trips to places like Hawaii, India, Singapore and the USA. ” Joan leaves her husband, three of her


sons (son Peter pre-deceased her), six surviving grandchildren and five great- grandchildren.


Martyn Sparrowhawk


TRIBUTES have been paid to Martyn Sparrowhawk, who raised large sums of money for charity. Martyn (53) lived in Fant Lane and worked as a painter and decorator. He aended St Simon Stock School and trained as a master butcher. Martyn was father


to 15-year-old Joseph, and was engaged to Moya.


Martyn was a


former England international martial arts fighter who had competed in judo and karate in the 1980s. Martyn also worked as a doorman and


set up the Jester’s Scooter Club. He helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity. A regular in the Cherry Tree pub in Barming, Martyn was also a keen gardener. He leaves his fiancée, son, his parents, two sisters and three brothers.


Eileen Colle EILEEN Mary Colle (96) lived on Surrey Road, Shepway, for over 65 years and before that in Frienden. Born Eileen


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Martin, inWiltshire, she moved to this area as a child, seling near Smallhythe. As a Girl Guide, she visited Smallhythe Place for tea when it was still owned by Victorian actress Ellen Terry, meeting and talking with her. Eileen was married for almost 50 years to


Roger Colle and was mother to Alan and Jacqueline. She had worked at the Granada Cinema at the boom of Gabriel’s Hill, on local farms and in the canteen of Oxford Road Primary School in Maidstone. Alan said: “My mother was the kind of


loveable person who is liked by everyone. She loved to go dancing with my father. My mother lived independently for many years after he died and was a loving mother and grandmother.” Eileen – who was widowed about 20


years ago – leaves her children, grandchildren Martin, Carl and Karen and great-grandchildren Luke, Bethany, Nicole and Isabel.


Marshall Vine


THE death of Maidstone’s Marshall Vine (73) made local headlines because of his personal quest to save and restore the paddle steamer The Medway Queen. Marshall was born and brought up in Maidstone. Born with cerebral palsy, he completed teacher training and taught woodwork, metal- work and history at St John Fisher’s School in Chatham. Marshall was also known for his in- volvement in Scout- ing and his passion for steam railways.


It was his discovery of the roing hulk of


the Medway Queen and the campaign to restore the vessel that brought him the most local aention and he served as chair- man to the society working to bring the Medway Queen back to full working order. A collection at Marshall’s funeral will go


to the Medway Queen Society. Marshall leaves his sister Diana and her family.


Dr J Gavin McLaggan


DR J Gavin McLaggan (82) who lived in Detling for 47 years, served the local community for decades as a GP. He was also known in the village for his involvment in all aspects of community life.


Born in London and


raised in Surrey, Dr McLaggan aended Winchester College and went on to study medicine at the University of Cambridge, completing his studies with the


clinical phase of his course at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. He moved to Maidstone where he worked as a GP. In more than 30 years of general practice in the area, Dr McLaggan worked out of surgeries on Church Street


and King Street, with an auxiliary surgery on London Road. Dr McLaggan met and married Sue, his


wife of 48 years, in Maidstone and was father to Sheena and James. Sue said: “My husband worked locally


for so long that he was eventually delivering the babies of patients who had once been babies at his surgery. “He was involved in many aspects of Detling life, including chairmanship of the parish council, and serving on the Village Hall Management Commiee. “He was involved at the start of the Detling Players amateur dramatic group and part of the Detling Singers from 1976 to the end of his life. People will remember him as someone who was enthusiastic, energetic, cheerful and smiling. “He also contributed to local life as chairman of the Trustees of the Heart of Kent Hospice and through his long- standing commitment to free palliative care. He was also an associate hospital manager under the Mental Health Act; a post in which he was involved in reviewing the care of people detained under the act.” Dr McLaggan leaves his wife and children.


Michael Haywood


MICHAEL Robert Haywood (74), a former headmaster of Suon Valence School, has has died in Glenelg, Rosshire, Scotland. He was described in The Scotsman newspaper as an “inspirational teacher and pioneering headmaster.” He became widely known and respected locally from a pioneering 14-year stint at the helm of Suon Valence School, which he took over in 1980. The school had a


proud tradition stretching back four centuries and Michael oversaw some of the most profound and far-reaching changes in its history. Under his stewardship the school opened its doors to girls for the first time, a move that greatly boosted its financial position and also improved its academic standing in an era when league tables and comparison of exam results became increasingly more significant in education. In the same period, the school


underwent a £3million programme of developments, with the construction of new buildings and modernisation.A further initiative led by Michael involved strategic planning with regard to overall academic performance and subject development. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Michael


did his teacher training at Cambridge and was married to Stella. He came to Suon Valence after teaching in London, and left after being headhunted to work as head of a school in Phuket in Thailand, locally financed but run under the overseeing of Dulwich College in London. He retired to Gleneld after undergoing triple heart by-pass surgery in Thailand.


There is no charge for our obituary service. Call Neil Nixon on 01622 630422 or email nlnxn@aol.com 40 Maidstone East October 2016


Obituaries


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