Over 150 people from in and around the parish packed into Broadwindsor’s St. John the Baptist church yesterday afternoon to attend the funeral of Colin Lawrence who died on 23rd December 2022.
After the opening hymn ‘All things bright and beautiful‘, Colin’s granddaughter, Amy read a poem –
Heaven has received another angel,
The night sky another star.
Your life has become a loving memory.
I know you will never be far.
I know you’re watching over me
As my life goes on.
I will treasure the memories I have of you.
I can’t believe you’re gone.
You were a loving, caring grandad
You were there for me a lot.
You will always hold a place in my heart,
A loving treasured spot.
You were really one in a million,
A cut above the rest.
All who knew you would agree.
You simply were the best.
So, Grandad, I will say goodbye.
I love and miss you with all my heart,
But as long as I have my loving memories,
We will never be too far apart.
Rev. David Baldwin read the Eulogy prepared by his family:
Colin was born on the 2nd May 1937 and was the youngest son of Kathleen & Cyril, & lived at Seavington St Mary, near Ilminster. He had one brother, Keith. He attended schools in Ilminster. On leaving school he worked on a local farm and following this he did National Service in the Royal Air Force, his section being the Fire Brigade Crew. Some of this time was spent in Germany.
One winters night in 1956, Valerie & 3 of her friends were in Broadwindsor Square when they heard the sound of a motorbike approaching from Drimpton Road. On the bike was Colin riding pillion behind his brother!! After their first meeting, Colin continued to cycle from Seavington St Mary to Broadwindsor every weekend as due to work commitments that was the only spare time he had. This was the start of their romance & 64 years of marriage!
In 1958, on Boxing Day, they were married here in Broadwindsor Church whilst Colin was home on leave. There first marital home was in Burstock.
In 1961, Mandy was born. Unfortunately, Colin was away training in Finchley for the Fire Service so he missed this event.
Following his National Service he then worked for Newmans of Beaminster assisting with the digging of boreholes. After this he then drove for South Western Farmers in Crewkerne delivering animal feeds.
In 1966, Wayne was born and Colin was present this time!!
In the late 60s, Colin started driving for Ready Mixed Concrete until he retired, and still remained in contact with former workmates. The family recalls whenever they were on their travels in Dorset or Somerset, Colin would often comment, ‘I‘ve delivered concrete there‘, and would often remember what was being built at the time.
Sadly Colin lost his Brother, Keith, which left a huge hole in his life as they were so close, and used to visit one another on a weekly basis.
In 1971, the family moved to Broadwindsor, then in 2005 returned back to Burstock.
From 1972 – 1992 he served as a Special Constable working from Bridport Police Station. This was a job he enjoyed doing, giving back to the community.
In 1996, Amy arrived which made him the proudest Grandad ever. The family enjoyed many happy holidays together in Cornwall during Amy’s early years. He was so proud of her tennis achievements, which I’m sure you’re all aware of!! Amy can remember how he used to play tennis with her in the road at Burstock, and even in his 60s he could give her a run for her money. He also hit many balls in the neighbours gardens!
Colin loved the outdoors. He loved shooting, beating & gardening. He also played in a skittles team in the Cattistock Hunt League. Colin & Valerie also belonged to Broadwindsor Over 60s club which met monthly, and revelled in the outings. Through these interests he’s made many close friendships. Up until recently he was still gardening for Michelle & Mick at Broadwindsor, and Jackie & John at Clapton, despite having a large garden of his own. He liked helping other people out! He also loved animals. Over recent years has tamed many a stray cat, and they’ve all been given names.
Colin never lost his sense of humour whilst in hospital. On one occasion when Mandy & Amy visited him and the Nurse asked him who they were, he pointed at Amy and said, ‘That’s my Amy’, then pointed to Mandy and said, ‘She’s from Dorset’. It’s clear to say Mandy wasn’t expecting that!!
All of you that are here today will know that Colin was a positive, thoughtful, caring and loving family man, and would do anything to help anyone. However, his time keeping was not always the best, even in his final moments. Mandy and Amy having spent 32 hours by his bedside, the Nurses moved him into a side room, during this short distance with no one by his side he passed away much to the surprise of everyone. Particularly Amy, who uttered words that can not be repeated today!
Colin may be gone but will never be forgotten, and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
A lovely poignant poem followed:
When you remember me,
Please do not weep.
My body may not be there.
It has chosen to sleep.
I’m not far away.
My soul lives on,
Looking down, watching over
You and everyone.
And when you feel sad
And life seems so blue,
That my spirit has its arms around you.
And on those special days
Times that you wish I could see,
That cool breeze flowing past you…
Well, that will be me,
So don’t be sad.
Have no fear.
God has taken me under his wing,
But I’ll always be near.
I still watch you
Every minute, every day.
My love and soul are with you,
And that’s where they will stay.
Colin exited the church to the music ‘Always look on the bright side of life‘ performed by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Commander in Chief Fleet. The Committal took place at Burstock Churchyard.
Afterwards, friends and family gathered together at the Comrades Hall to enjoy a lovely buffet and to share and celebrate their memories of Colin.
Any donations in Colin‘s name are requested to go to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.
Colin Gerald Lawrence 02.05.1937 – 23.12.2022