COMMUNITY-MINDED former landlord Ron Waight has died aged 80 after suffering a heart attack at his home.
Mr Waight ran The Artillery Arms, in Hester Road, Eastney, with his wife Doreen for 28 years until they retired in 1996.
During his time as landlord he organised days out for elderly people and donated money to local charities and youth football clubs.
Mr Waight was also an active member of The Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association, a body for self-employed licensees working in the industry.
After leaving the pub trade the couple moved to Locksway Road, in Milton, and enjoyed numerous trips abroad together – mainly to Mr Waight’s favourite place Canada.
Mr Waight, who grew up in Landport, began his working life as a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer for the British Army.
It was during his three-year stint in the service that he met his wife Doreen, who as part of her job served cups of tea to the soldiers.
The couple tied the knot at a registry office in the West Midlands – where Mrs Waight is from – in 1954.
After leaving the army Mr Waight and his wife moved to Eastern Avenue, Milton.
Mr Waight then became a painter and decorator for Portsmouth City Council, before the couple took over The Artillery Arms.
They developed their love for the pub trade when they helped Mr Waight’s sister Kath Parsons run The Cumberland Tavern, in Eastney Road, Eastney, when Mr Waight worked for the council.
Mrs Parsons, 85, said: ‘They turned The Artillery Arms into a wonderful family pub. Ron was popular with everyone. He was an extremely generous person and had a smile for everybody he met.’
Mrs Waight, 81, said: ‘I have many wonderful memories of our time at the pub.
‘He has left a huge void in my life and I am going to sorely miss him.
‘We loved travelling together. Canada was his favourite place.’
Raymond Culverwell, who runs J G Riley newsagents, in Locksway Road, Milton, knew Mr Waight for more than 20 years.
‘I used to pop by The Artillery Arms for a drink when he and his wife ran it,’ he said.
‘He was a lovely bloke and quite a character.
‘Then when he moved to Locksway Road he regularly came to my shop to buy his newspapers.
‘He always had time for a chat.
‘I’ll definitely miss him.’
His son Stephen Waight, 47, added: ‘I was only five when we moved to the pub.
‘He was an amazing man who thought the world of me and my mum.
‘He was passionate about his sports, especially cricket.
‘It hasn’t sunk in that he’s gone.’
Despite repeated attempts by medical staff to revive him, Mr Waight died after collapsing at his home on Tuesday, June 5. Mr Waight leaves behind two brothers – James, 79, and Kevin, 77, as well as two sisters – Kath and Dean Nikolas, 79.
His funeral will be held at Portchester Crematorium, in Upper Cornaway Lane, Portchester, on Friday, June 29.
· Ron Waight: born October 3, 1931; died June 5, 2012.