MORE than 160 people packed into a church to say their final goodbyes to a well-respected verger.
Leslie Jacobs, who was the verger at Holy Trinity Church in Fareham for 60 years, died on December 2, aged 90, at The Rowans Hospice.
A moving service was held at the church in West Street.
Tributes were paid to Mr Jacobs by the Rev Sally Davenport and the Rev Canon Bruce Carpenter.
Rev Davenport said: ‘He was a complex character, who once met was never forgotten.
‘He will be remembered for his faithful years of service.’
Mr Jacobs was born in 1925 and grew up in Trinity Street, Fareham.
He became a choirboy at Holy Trinity at a young age, eventually becoming head choirboy and singing into his teenage years.
In 1939 he was sent to fight in the Second World War and served until war ended in 1945.
When he returned to Fareham, he went back to Holy Trinity and became the verger in 1948, at the age of 23.
He met and married his wife Judith three years later and they had a long and happy marriage, with one daughter, Anna. After 60 years as verger, Mr Leslie retired in 2008.
Rev Carpenter said: ‘He was a loving, devoted father and grandfather, who enjoyed being with young children.’
Rev Carpenter told stories about Mr Leslie enjoying spending time with his daughter and his grandchildren – Luke and Helen.
He said: ‘He continued faithfully in worship and service to God and to every one who came here.
‘He loved God, the church, cricket and parties.
‘We personally enjoyed sharing a bottle of his homemade elderflower wine.
‘He loved animals and he loved children and he delighted in his family, in his role as father and grandfather.’
Mr Leslie leaves behind wife Judith, 85, from Fareham and daughter Anna Morgan, 63, son-in-law Keith Morgan, from Bordon, and grandchildren Luke Morgan, 33, Helen Moore, 28, and her husband Simon, 29.