We all have our own personal and special memories of John but we would all agree that he was a gentle, dignified, thoughtful, loving and self-less man.
John was a quiet and private man whose deeds spoke louder than his words. He would be willing to help in any way he could and do whatever was needed without hesitation or complaint and was always reliable.
To John - family was everything. He was the rock for Wendy and the boys and a source of inspiration for his grandchildren - Jack, Ben, Jonathan and Aidan.
He treated everyone with respect and his gentlemanly ways left a lasting impression on everyone here and all who met him.
John was born in 1932. He lived all his life in Kingswinford, the son of Florence and William and younger brother to his sister Mary.
He went to Glynne school just like his sons and grandsons would do in the future and then onto the Kingswinford school until the age of 14.
As a teenager he was conscripted into the Army on National Service and was sent to Germany. For one of his first assignments he was selected to be the batman to an army Major. It was here where he learned to drive. It is fair to say that to John driving was a useful skill to have and one he would use selflessly with his family in the future.
After 18 months John thought he would be returning to “civvy street” but unluckily for him, the government changed the length of the conscription from 18 months to 2 years so his spell in the services was extended by 6 months, thus delaying his return home.
Before he was conscripted, John had been working for Fletchers Builders making fireplaces however this was not his first choice of career; which was to be a carpenter; although regrettably there were no carpentry apprenticeships available at that time so he chose this equally skilled profession.
After being demobbed he returned to work at Fletchers picking up where he left off to become an expert in designing and making fireplaces, a skill of working with his hands that continued throughout his life.
In fact, when an apprenticeship for carpentry did become available John, somewhat typically, decided to remain where he was, enjoying what he was doing at that time and displaying the somewhat lovingly stubborn temperament we will touch on later, but a thread that ran through his whole life.
Some years later, John was handpicked by the owner of Oakfield tiling to work in their new Fireplace business. He was delighted to accept this offer to demonstrate his skills and he remained working there for the rest of his professional career, eventually putting down his tools to become a transport manager and later general manager until he first retired.
After this, John wanted to continue with the strong work ethic he had been born with, opting not to just stay at home and went to work at Wombourne Ambulance station, cleaning and moving the ambulances. John finally stopped working when the station closed by which time, he was 80 years young.
Before being conscripted an even bigger and more life changing event happened in Johns young life. That started when he was approached by Wendy, who asked him if he would like to go to the cinema. John being a keen sportsman turned her down politely saying “sorry I’m not available this evening as I’m playing cricket”.
I’m pleased to say that this didn’t deter Wendy and when John was 19 they started dating properly and this continued long distance during his Army service.
Whilst at Fletchers, the opportunity came up to buy some land and have a house built in Kingsley Road, which has been the family home ever since.
This gave John and Wendy the opportunity to move on with their relationship and in 1955, they were married in Kingswinford Parish Church and after a short honeymoon in Brighton, moved into their new home together.
John and Wendy worked tirelessly to make a loving environment where they were able to bring up their three sons Andrew, Richard and Mark.
John was a perfect devoted father, and latterly Grandfather, always putting his children and his wife above himself.
His selflessness would be with him all his life, to its end.
He would get up at ridiculous hours to take Andrew fishing, sharing the journeys with the other Dad’s but always getting up in the early hours to make his beloved cup of coffee and a flask for Andrew. Even when it wasn’t his turn to take the young fishermen, he would still get up to make sure Andy was awake and ready.
He would take Rich and Mark and all their friends; squashed into his car; to concerts, driving all over the country and then patiently waiting in the car until the concert was over before returning them all home.
The theme of memorable car journeys continued with happy family holidays all over the country including Wales, Cornwall, Devon and Cumbria. The most unforgettable of which was when the boys were pleading with their dad to drive fast through a large flood in the road. John lovingly obliged only to completely water-logg the car and seize the engine, resulting in the car being abandoned and Wendy and John having to travel back to collect the car by train a week later.
When he wasn’t ferrying the family around, John was supporting his much loved football club - Wolverhampton Wanderers. In the early days it was Wendy who accompanied him to the matches, standing on the terraces, but later on it would be his sons who joined him cheering on their favourite team and travelling all over the country to watch them. He continued to go to the games right up to the recent Covid-19 lock down.
At one notorious Wolves match in Southend, the car door was closed with John on the outside and his finger trapped and visible from the inside. Undeterred he wrapped a hanky around it and marched off to get a coffee and watch the match, with not a hint of fuss or complaint as was his nature.
Having three football mad boys meant he was continually having to replace the glass in the garden greenhouse; and sometimes his neighbor’s cold frame; if there had been a particularly bad shot. Most weekends, Wendy would simply ring John and he would ask which panel it was as he knew all the glass sizes off by heart, and he would bring them home after work and have them refitted within an hour.
Even once the boys had left home and were married to Lizzie, Janet and Lumi, John would always help out with home improvements, gardening or taking the grandchildren out for day trips which he really enjoyed.
As the years rolled on, John loved nothing more than to sit in his beloved chair by the window in the family home, where he would smile at the antics of his four ever loved grandsons with their continued interest in Wolves and always wanted to hear what they were doing or interested in. A more loving Grandad no one could have.
It was pointed out in a recent sympathy card that John would often go missing, only to be found quietly sitting in his car; often with a Grandson sat on his lap; listening to the match while everyone was looking for him. Undeterred he would carry on until the end of the game before returning to whatever was going on.
In the later years Johns health was not as he would wish and despite several visits to hospital over a 20 year period, this tough big hearted man never complained and just got on with his job of being the best Husband, Dad and Grandad he could be.
John was the kindest politest most gentle man you could wish to meet and know, always interested in people and wanting to help in any way he could; if needed.
To say he will be greatly missed by all his family and friends is a massive understatement, but the consolation is that he will be up there with a cup of coffee in hand, listening to the Wolves match and smiling down on us all.
God Bless John