John Frederick Tomlinson (28 Dec 1920 - 3 Dec 2020)

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JohnRNLI - Royal National Lifeboat Institution

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JohnHope 4 (Rugby)

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Funeral Service

Location
Rugby Baptist Church Regent Place Rugby CV21 2PJ
Funeral Director
Walton & Taylor Ltd

Burial Details

Location
Whinfield Cemetery Butlin Road Rugby CV21 3SB

In loving memory of John Frederick Tomlinson who sadly passed away on 3rd December 2020.
It may be a kind of co-incidence but John was born late in 1920 not too long after the great Flu epidemic after the 1st World War. He was born at the old Rugby Maternity home, a building subsequently known as Soroptimist House, on Hillmorton Road opposite Lawrence Sheriff School field. He was born into a family who were established in Rugby, the home town of their father , later in the 19th Century. The family trade was joinery and cabinet making and later in life this was Johns chosen career path too. He attended Benn School as a youngster and moved on to the old Murray School whose site is now a development of houses between Murray Road and Bath Street. It was a convenient move as John grew up further down Murray Road and his aunts and uncle lived in Bath Street. A scholarship to Lawrence Sheriff School meant that he started there in 1932. John would probably not class himself as an academic despite a tremendous study of the bible later in his life. As such it is probably the school Scout Troop which he loved most at that time. One of the later scout leaders who dad new as a friend, was a gentlemen known as Eggie Lay. He was to be loved by generations of LSS boys as well as becoming a familiar figure in Bilton. John left LSS in 1936 and signed indentures to begin his working life as a Carpentry and Joinery apprentice with the established Rugby firm of Foster and Dicksee.
Then war intervened and John volunteered ahead of conscription. He and his brother joined a local TA field artillery unit that originally operated from the Drill Hall in Leamington. His military service saw him in France with the BEF. (He missed Dunkirk as a result of being returned home injured having broken his arm trying to start a gun tower!). Then after a period of retraining a circuitous journey saw him visit South Africa, India, Mesopotamia, Palestine and finally Italy. He had become a driver/mechanic and always felt blessed in this role as he was protected, to some degree, from the horrors of front line fighting. The friends he made during the war became a tightly knit mini community who met regularly as the Q Club (They were members of the Queens Battery) every Remembrance Sunday eve for a dinner and then a service on the Sunday morning. John was honoured in the early 60's when the club commissioned him to manufacture the 'field' cross to be used on the altar at these services. This is a beautiful two piece construction hand made in oak and reflects both Johns approach to work and dedication to a cause. Possibly one of the reasons that his comrades also saw fit to qualify John for this work was his lifelong commitment to his Christian beliefs. It seemed only appropriate that a man of faith and practical skill should carry-out this commission.
John returned to Foster and Dicksee and stayed with them until they were taken over by Higgs and Hill in the 60s. This period of employment saw him work on the Egyptian room at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford as well as re-roofing Stamford Hall in the mid 50s. He had become a manager of small works but retained a very high level of understanding of the practical aspects of many fields of building work, most notably, ecclesiastical work. The post offered by H&H did not suit John and contacts at an architectural practice in Coventry led to him joining them as a 'surveyor'. This title did not do justice to his varied activity on their behalf. His skill set led to him doing a lot of work for the Diosese of Coventry, King Henry VIII school, Jaguar and Coventry Post office. John took redundancy at the age of 63.5.
In 1953 John had met Elsie and they were to be married in 1955. She really was his only true love. They were together for just over 40 years and John missed her greatly during the later years of his life. A son and daughter, Bill(y) and Frances (Fran) were born in 1957 and 1959 respectively. John was a loving and considerate father but not a 'gushy' type. He ensured that the children gained a love and understanding of the natural world as well as a familiarity with all the footpaths around Rugby. Walking was a great passion and in his later years he was to lead and take part in several walking groups. When he led, the walk would be full of interest and local knowledge. This was usually because he had had some contact in the area being walked but mostly because he had done the whole walk on his own to make sure it was suitable ( ~15miles). The children enjoyed lovely UK holidays which meant lots of walking, swimming, playing on beaches and visits to local castles etc. His forte when on holiday was the construction of beautiful sand carvings. Churches, houses and even a teddy bear were among his portfolio. As a father he, and indeed Elsie's, abiding wish for the children was that they should get to know Jesus Christ as their saviour. This meant that the scriptures were never far away and that Sunday was dedicated to worship. In this sense John's heavenly father can say 'Well done, good and faithful servant'.
John's Christian beliefs were truly the focus for his life's work. Whilst he never wished to be a leader his faithful service meant that many over the years have looked to him for guidance and example. For many years he was known as 'Uncle John' by a succession of children who attended the Happy Hour at the Bretheren Assembly in Chester Street. He was not just a building-bound Christian but would go out of his way to meet the families that the children came from. His truly believed that it was his duty was to bring as many youngsters under the sound of the Gospel and he work tirelessly in this pursuit. In all facets of his long life John's faith made its presence felt. He was humble, gentle, kind and very generous. In later years many charities have benefited from his giving however it is one in Rugby that saw his most practical giving. He become a worker at the HOPE4 charity in Rugby and well into his 90's would be washing-up or just chatting to the beneficiaries of the food. He supplemented this particular work by also doing stints on the soup kitchen run out of the Parish Church.
It may sound as if he was over-serious. Far from it! Family, friends and work colleagues can testify to an excellent sense of humour often dispensed with a 'mischievous' twinkle in his eye.
Many will have crossed paths with John during his long life whether that was a meeting in the street when he would doff his hat, seeing him about town riding his bike until he was 96 or being the beneficiary of a cake when you arrived as a new neighbour in the top of Cromwell Road where he lived.
Perhaps one of the greatest things said about him was by a neighbour from Benn Street. 'John was the last true gentleman in Rugby'.

Alice Greenway donated in memory of John

In memory of our dear friend John, from the Greenways xx

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Alice Greenway donated in memory of John

In memory of our dear friend John, from the Greenways xx

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Fran Deery donated £20 in memory of John

This gift is on behalf of Dad's longtime neighbour and friend Gill Coldwell.

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Fran Deery donated £20 in memory of John

This is given on behalf of Dad's longtime neighbour and friend Gill Coldwell. Never to be forgotten wonderful man. X

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Jane Robson donated in memory of John

What a trooper! Generous hearted and faithful in prayer.

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  • Thank you Jane his prayers will continue in heaven

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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Jane Robson donated in memory of John

It was a privilege to have known John. A wonderful witness to his Lord and Saviour. A great man of prayer.

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Brenda Tomes donated £20 in memory of John
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John & Carol Gill donated £20 in memory of John

In memory of John Tomlinson a wonderful gentleman

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  • You were very kind to dad and we thank you for that

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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John & Carol Gill donated £20 in memory of John

In memory of a wonderful gentleman who will be greatly missed.

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Claude Tregoat (at No. 9 Cromwell Road) donated in memory of John

We will always remember John with joy, and would like to thank his family for allowing all his neighbours to say farewell.

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  • No thank you... Dad loved each and everyone of his neighbours and your love was shown so poignantly on the day of the funeral. God Bless you.

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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Norman Butterworth donated £50 in memory of John
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Elizabeth Blackaby wrote

In fond memory of a much loved Uncle who was so caring and generous to name but 2 attributes. He will be missed not only b family but I believe by anyone he knew or met in his life. Now singing with the angels in heaven and in the arms of his dear Saviour

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  • Thank you cousin Elizabeth xx

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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Elizabeth Blackaby donated £25 in memory of John

To remember my Uncle John who loved this cause and helped till well into his 90's

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Elizabeth Blackaby donated £25 in memory of John

In memory or a much loved Uncle, will be so missed not only by family but anyone who he ever met. He was so so caring and generous to name but 2 atributes. He will now be singing with the angels in heaven. Much Love from Liz and Family

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Sue Deeley donated £30 in memory of John

Many fond memories of a lovely man.

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  • Very kind of you, thank you you lovely neighbours

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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FRANCES DEERY donated £50 in memory of John

What a fantastic dad, life will not be the same without him. He would do anything for me a the drop of a hat. Even in his last days i could ask him for advice and he would still try but sadly his physical capacity meant he could no longer action the help and this left him feeling helpless and worthless. That without a shadow of a doubt was not the case,his obvious love and prayers for my blessing were in abundance still to the very end. May all your labours be over and your perfect rest complete in the Arms of your precious Saviour.

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Petra Meeson donated £50 in memory of John

Such a font of wonderful information about Rugby and funny stories. A prayerful inspiration. Thank you for wonderful memories of our conversations x

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  • Thank you so much Dad will still be praying fur you and yours xx

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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Tom Orbinson wrote

A true gentleman and fine Christian. Loved his bible and followed it. Always put God first, others second and himself last. The world and Rugby in particular is a poorer place today without him. We always enjoyed being in his company and always left feeling uplifted. In the bible in John 1 v6 referring to John The Baptist it says "There was a man sent from God whose name was John". In our opinion the same can be said of John T. Thinking of those who will miss him most at this time of mourning. Janie & Tom Orbinson

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  • Oh such lovely words too kind Tom and Jamie xx

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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Pamela & Roger Edwards donated £30 in memory of John

I know how very involved Uncle John was with this organisation and we are pleased to donate to it in loving memory of him

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  • Thank you for this gift and know you will all be lifted up in prayers in the heavenly places now. Xx

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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Pamela and Roger Edwards wrote

This comes to say thinking of you all, and remembering you in our Prayers at this time.

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Marcia Crawshaw donated £50 in memory of John

Such a lovely, caring man. This world is a poorer place without him.

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  • Thank you for your gift and kind words. Xx

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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Vic James wrote

For my old mate "Tommo", the renowned "five mile sniper".
A true gentleman in every sense who will be sadly missed.

Vic

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  • I'm glad you and dad were friends and you had such laughs together hold those memories and thank you for these gifts in his memory xx

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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Vic James donated £25 in memory of John
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Vic James donated £25 in memory of John
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Sheila Spicer donated £20 in memory of John

With fond memories of a kind friend and beautiful letter writer.

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  • Thank you Sheila, dad loved to receive your letters and loved even more to write back. His greatest sadness was when he was no longer physically able to do this. His love and prayers in heaven are still for your wellbeing. Xx

    Posted by Fran on 4/01/2021 Report abuse
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