Selfless volunteer dedicated later years of his life to others passes away

WINNER George Boyden scooped a We Can Do It award
WINNER George Boyden scooped a We Can Do It award
From left: PO Adam Hilton,  Father Christmas, Captain Peter Towell, CPO Chris 'Paddy' Gilkes and Malcolm Dent

Engineers spread Christmas joy

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GEORGE Boyden, who devoted much of his time to people in need, has died aged 85 after losing a battle with prostate cancer.

Mr Boyden was a key volunteer at Emsworth House care home, in Havant Road, Emsworth, prior to falling ill.

As part of his duties, which he carried out for four years, he ran a tea trolley service, filled up water jugs, closed curtains, opened windows and went to the shops to buy goods for residents.

His selfless actions were rewarded in November when he was presented with the volunteer of the year award at The News We Can Do It awards.

Speaking about his win at the time, Mr Boyden said: ‘I’m pleased for my manager Melanie Brodison as she gave me this opportunity to work.

‘I’m very glad to know I’m appreciated.

‘It’s overwhelming.’

Mr Boyden began working at the home after his wife Gwen, 82, passed away under its care in 2008.

Mr Boyden, who was born in Molesey, Surrey, carried out national service in Singapore and Burma towards the end of the Second World War before becoming a draughtsman for Hawker Siddeley Aircraft.

In that job, he was in charge of designing metal sheets for the bodies and wings of planes.

He then took over a convenience store in Whitehill, Bordon, before taking on a role as a materials store manager at Timex Watch factory in Alton, near Petersfield, in 1971.

During this time he lived with his wife and two sons Keith, now 55 and Trevor, 59, in Petersfield.

The family then moved to South Road, Horndean.

Mr Boyden finished his professional working life at an engineering firm in Portsmouth.

Mr Boyden had his prostate gland removed at the age of 62 but he fell seriously ill shortly after Christmas.

He passed away at Emsworth House care home on April 5, two weeks after he was admitted into care there.

Emsworth House care home manager Melanie Brodison said his death was a huge loss.

‘He had a phenomenal impact on the lives of everyone, and he took the time to help out all those he met,’ she said.

‘One of the residents wants to have a bench built in the garden so he can be remembered forever.

‘He was a very special person.’

Jean Pratley, activities co-ordinator at the care home, added: ‘I knew George since he began volunteering here.

‘He was a very kind man.

‘He had all the time in the world for you.

‘He will be greatly missed.’

Paying tribute, Mr Boyden’s son Trevor said: ‘He was a cheerful chap who loved helping people.’

His funeral was held at Chichester Crematorium, in Westhampnett Road, Chichester, on April 18.

· George Boyden: born December 20, 1926; died April 5, 2012.