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Tribute to a much-loved community stalwart

Times Echo and Life / All News / Tribute to a much-loved community stalwart
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2 DEC

Tribute to a much-loved community stalwart

By timesecholife on in All News, Latest News

Tribute has been paid to a Moorlands community stalwart who has sadly passed away. Brian Stoddard died peacefully at his home, surrounded by his loving family, on Sunday (November 28) aged 90 years.

Tribute has been paid to a Moorlands community stalwart who has sadly passed away.

Brian Stoddard died peacefully at his home, surrounded by his loving family, on Sunday (November 28) aged 90 years.

He was a devoted Husband of the late Margaret, a much loved Dad of Jane, Jill, Judith and Peter, a dear Father in law of John, Andrew, Richard and Samantha, a very proud Grandad of John, Caroline, Joseph, Matthew, Teddie, Indie and Lucy, and a Great Grandad of Rosalie and Eva.

Born in 1931 to Percy and Elsie Stoddard at a small farm in Wetley Rocks, Brian joined his older brother Malcolm who was 13 months older. They were brought up on various farms in the area.

Brian attended Kingsley and Cheadle County Primary School and then went onto Leek High.

His family settled in Cheadle, where Brian and Malcolm started work for the family business at 15 years old.

Such work included agricultural contracting, coal merchant, timber yard, taxis, buses and finally oil tankers.

Brian married Margaret in 1957. They had been married for nearly 50 years, before Margaret passed away in 2007. Theirmain social occupation throughout their married life was dancing.

In the 70s and 80s Brian decided on a project to augment the much needed funds for the Saint Giles The Abbot Church to assist its upkeep. This was to arrange dances at the Guild Hall, which became known as ‘the church dances.’

These dances were highly popular and the early days saw attendance of nearly 200 dancers. Over a 20 year period, more than £20,000 was raised.

Sadly dancing for large numbers declined and in 1995 the dances ended, but Brian continued to raise funds with organising other events.

When Brian was nearly 50 years old, he re-embarked on a new social hobby of running. He had previously been a good runner as a youngster.

However at the age of 50, he ran the Cheadle Road Race without any preparation and quickly realised the next day when he could hardly walk that he needed to do some serious training. He was a member of Cheadle Running Club and North Staffs Road Running Association. After two or three years he was holding his own with the majority of the over 50 year old runners.

His best performances were in 1984, 85, and 86 when he won the veterans over 50’s race at the annual JCB five mile race, three years in succession.

In 1987 he competed in the British Vet Championships at Cosford Sports Centre, finishing fourth in the 1,500 meters.

During his working life for the Stoddard’s company, which continued full time until he was 75 – Brian was responsible for creating many innovations, especially with the coach side of the business, introducing to the public, daily excursions and weekly holidays in Britain and abroad. And editing a Stoddards holiday brochure each year.

Brian was an active member of the church and was church warden for a number of years. He also found time to be an active member of Cheadle Rotary Club, representing the club as president on two occasions; and also attending the Annual National three day conference for about 20 years.

He continued in various roles up until recently. Brian will be greatly missed by all.

In tribute, Brian’s family told the Times & Echo: “Outside of his personal achievements Brian loved quizzes, puzzles and card games. He loved testing everyone’s general knowledge, something he shared amongst many family members.

More recently during lockdown he loved taking part in the weekly family quiz online, and no Christmas was complete without his own quiz.

He loved to chat about what was going on be it, locally, in the family, in the world, tennis, travel, current affairs or football (particularly Stoke and Derby) and loved to crack a joke.

He always had a twinkle in his eye and loved to reminisce about all the old dance bands and the music from his younger years.

A loving, caring and generous Dad, Grandad and Great Grandad – he will be greatly missed by all the family.

He was very much treasured and we were lucky to have him in our lives.”

Brian’s funeral arrangements are yet to be confirmed. Enquires to J. P. Keates and Son Funeral Directors at Bank House, 37 Bank Street, Cheadle, ST10 1NR. Telephone: 01538 752164. Website:

www.jpkeatesandson.co.uk

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