TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular car park attendant who died suddenly while on holiday.
John Bennett, 72, from Grange Close, Havant, died from a heart attack in Lanzarote the day after he arrived there with his wife Julie.
Mrs Bennett, 60, who was happily married to John for 22 years, flew back two days later after having stayed with friends for support.
‘It was awful,’ she said. ‘Such a terrible shock.
‘I was chatting away to him one minute and the next he fell back having a heart attack.
‘I called for help and the paramedics came out.
‘They did as much as they could but they couldn’t save him.
‘Then they took him away.’
Mr Bennett’s body was flown back home on Saturday, five days after he died.
He leaves behind stepson David Souter, 33, stepdaughter-in-law Sara, 28, and two young grandchildren, Alex, five, and Luke, who is 15 months old.
Mr Bennett’s friend Ron Day, who worked alongside him at AEG car park on Dukes Walk, Waterlooville, organised a flower tribute at the car park’s tollbooth.
Mr Day, of The Green, Rowlands Castle, said: ‘John was liked by everyone, even people he booked.
‘He was a bit of a mickey-taker. He loved having a laugh and a joke – he was just an all-round good guy.
‘We were the best of friends, I’ll miss him a lot, as will so many of the people around here.’
The growing collection of tributes has left Mrs Bennett touched and she has thanked people for their support.
‘It was touching to hear there were tributes and a flower collection at John’s work,’ she said.
‘It’s really nice to know that so many people are thinking about him.
‘John was very popular, especially where he worked, and the tributes made me realise how much people thought of him.
‘He was such a lovely man and he will be deeply, deeply missed. We all loved him so much.’
Details of Mr Bennett’s funeral are yet to be arranged.