THE DAUGHTER of a much-loved community figure has paid tribute to her father after his recent passing. Alan Keates, who ran J.P Keates & Son Funeral Directors in Cheadle, peacefully passed away aged 86 last month with family members and friends gathering together to honour his life at his funeral at at Carmountside Crematorium on November 22. Mr Keates was born in 1933 and attended St Giles C of E School – now named Bishop Rawle Primary School – before moving onto high school in Uttoxeter.
Leaving school at 16, for a brief time Alan worked for British Railways at Longton Goods Yard prior to three years national service in the RAF as a senior aircraft technician.
From there, he enrolled in an apprenticeship at Thomas Bolton in Froghall, working in their accounts department.
He left the business to join his Dad at J.P Keates where he worked until he retired in 1994 after selling the company a few years prior.
Although work was always busy, Alan managed to make time for his favourite hobby – aircraft.
“His main passion was aircraft – he always had binoculars with him,” daughter Sarah told the Times and Echo.
“As a young boy he used to go to air shows so it was something he loved to do.”
Mr Keates was a member of the Michelin Aviation Club at Trent Vale and enjoyed many a day there.
Alan married wife of 39 years Frances at Blakeley Methodist Chapel in 1965 before going on to have Sarah in 1966.
He also has two grandchildren; Emily, aged 26, and 24-year-old Hannah. Sadly, Frances passed away 13 years ago.
Sarah described her father as a very loving, caring gentleman.
She said: “He was a unique character who showed a lot of compassion and care to bereaved families in his work.
“He was dedicated to his job and fiercely independent.
“He was also very well-known. The girls used to say that it took ages when they went shopping because he would stop and speak to so many people.
“He was very caring, loving and generous and enjoyed time with his family.”
Alan loved travelling and he and Frances were able to enjoy many a cruise during their retirement.
Sarah said she will remember her dad as “a dedicated father who had a passion for aviation, love of food and a kind and generous man who loved to tell a joke, stop and chat to people, enjoying time in his garden and spending time with Adrian (Sarah’s husband), myself, Emily and Hannah.”
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