“John will leave a hole in our hearts and a void on the bench”
A FUNERAL for one of the town’s most popular characters will take place later in the month.
Family and friends of 70 year old John Kent are preparing to say their final farewells to the popular Cheadle man at a funeral which is due to take place for him on Wednesday 24th May 2017.
Born and bred in Cheadle, John was well known throughout the town and could be spotted most days – at some point or other – sat on the bench at the top of the Tape Street car park chatting with friends and passing the time.
He was the only child born to parents George and Gladys Kent of Dilhorne Road, Cheadle and the family kept a butchers shop near to the junction of Tape Street and Chapel Street.
After completing schooling at the McKenzie Secondary Modern John found work with local builders and in August 1968 he married wife Elaine and the couple made a home together in Queen Street.
He later began driving heavy goods vehicles until he was involved in a dreadful accident at work in 1972.
John had come into collision with a run-away lorry and sustained serious head, face and leg injuries. He was in hospital for six months and was left unable to return to work for four years.
1976 saw him establish his own removals business which operated under the banner of J. C. Kent and Son. He also opened a shop in Queen Street selling second hand furniture, hardware, toiletries and sweets.
John and Elaine had three children together, Andrew came along first followed shortly afterwards by twins Angela and Nick.
Andy Kent, the eldest of the couple’s three children, spoke to the Times and Echo this week following the death of his father.
“We had a very happy childhood and dad was the sort of person who would do anything for anyone.
“In spite of the horrific accident and his injuries we never went without,” he said.
“He enjoyed doing the removals and the buying and selling side of things and more than anything he loved to find a bargain although he wasn’t at all money orientated.
“He didn’t really have any hobbies and he didn’t drink but he did enjoy a bus trip. Since retiring in 2003 he and mum have enjoyed lots of day trips all over the UK with their friends.”
Having suffered the loss of their daughter Angela at the end of 2015, the past 18 months had been incredibly difficult for John and Elaine and the family to endure.
Shortly after Christmas John began experiencing signs of ill health himself followed by another serving of bad news for the family in March of this year when doctors detected a cancerous growth in his stomach.
Andy continued: “Dad had lost four stone since Christmas and had been back and forth to the doctors a few times, we knew he hadn’t been feeling well.
“Mum and dad found out on the Thursday and told us on Mother’s Day that it was cancer.
“The doctors said without treatment he’d have three months or possibly 12 months with treatment. Dad was keen to give the treatment a try.”
Sadly less than a month later, on Friday 21st April, John was admitted to hospital after developing bronchopneumonia. His condition quickly deteriorated and he passed away just six days later.
Speaking about his dad’s final days Nick commented: “At the hospital we just willed him to get strong enough to be back at home where he wanted to be.
“I spent a lot of time with dad over the years and he would regularly come round to our house to offer his advice over a cuppa and a cigarette.
“Our son Ethan loved his grandad and his step-grandchildren Fran and Dan thought very highly of him as did I. He was an inspiration.”
Andy added: “Sitting with him in hospital we just knew he wasn’t going to get better, you could see it in his face and I think he knew too.
“We would really like to say thank you to everyone who has sent cards and messages, there have been so many.”
He leaves wife Elaine, sons Andy and Nick, son-in-law and daughter-in law Jeff and Dana and grandchildren Morgan, Finlay, Ethan, Fran, Dan, Russell, Stacie and Rick.
A funeral for John will take place on Wednesday 24th May at Cheadle Parish Church at 2.30pm.
The service is being organised by J.P.Keates and Sons, Bank Street, Cheadle. For inquiries please telephone 01538 752164.
We are the only family run, independent newspaper and magazine business in Staffordshire, established 1896. We are home to three weekly newspapers – The Cheadle and Tean Times (aka The Stunner), The Uttoxeter Echo and The Leek & Moorlands Echo.
We also produce Peeps into the Past, a bi-monthly nostalgic glimpse into our photographic archives, and three bi-monthly glossy lifestyle magazines – Stone and Eccleshall Life, Leek Life and Newcastle Life.
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