WHO can take the rainbow? The candy man can.
Those were the lyrics that wafted in the air as Ray King’s casket was taken into the chapel.
About 40 people gathered at Portchester Crematorium yesterday to say goodbye to Ray, Southsea’s very own candy man.
And a large crowd gathered outside Ray’s shop H & E King in Albert Road to wave off the funeral procession beforehand.
Ray died aged 87 in his sleep at his home above his shop on July 27.
Andy Searson, who led the service, said: ‘He was a quiet man who you couldn’t shut up, a complete contradiction.
‘He was not the person who would initiate conversation but once he started you couldn’t shut him up.
‘He was a very pleasant man. He had a small but very valued circle of friends, but at the same time he was one of the most well-known men in Portsmouth.’
Memories were shared during the service about Ray’s love of draughts, of taking trips to the Good Companion pub in Milton, and of the love of his life Marian, who died after they had been together 20 years.
Ray’s family owned the shop in Albert Road for more than 100 years. It was formerly a newsagents, until Ray’s mother died and he turned it into a sweet shop.
The family – Ray’s mum and dad plus his twin brother Jeffrey – originally lived in Locksway Road, before moving to the flat above the shop.
Ray’s cousin John King, who lives in Outram Road, Southsea, was at the service,
The 74-year-old said: ‘He was a nice man, with a very vivid imagination.
‘Ray carried me out of hospital when I was born.’
Ray’s second cousin Pam Brown, also from Southsea, said: ‘Whenever I saw him he would give me and my husband very good advice about banking and shares, and when we went to the shop we would always leave with a box of Dairy Milk.’
Bob and Clare Saunders were close friends of Ray, and had looked after him for the past 11 years.
Clare, from Cosham, said: ‘He was such a lovely gentleman. We really will miss him so much. He has been such a big part of our lives.’
Bob said: ‘We had some really great times together and Christmases together.
‘It was a lovely turnout this morning and I thank everybody who has driven up here today. He was a lovely man.’
The service ended with the theme tune from Dad’s Army, a nod to Ray’s love of telling stories from the war.