HE WAS a pillar of the community and a popular family man who won the hearts of many.
And yesterday, hundreds of people gathered to remember Fred Newman at his funeral.
A procession made its way through Portsmouth city centre with horses carrying the coffin from the family business Pam’s Artistic Florist in Copnor, to the Royal Maritime Club in Portsea.
Trucks and vans filled with floral tributes from far and wide followed the procession as a brass band played and hundreds of people gathered at the roadside to pay their respects.
The grandfather-of-nine, who died aged 63 last month, loved horses and regularly attended horse shows across the country, including Wickham and Appleby. So it was only right that it should be horses that carried him on his final journey.
As people made their way into the club for the funeral service, Tina Turner’s Simply the Best was playing for all to hear.
You have touched the lives of so many people you have met throughout your lifeDawn Newman
During the service, Fred’s daughter-in-law Dawn Newman said: ‘You touched the lives of so many people you have met throughout your life.
‘Each person here today will have their own special memories to keep hold of and to cherish.
‘We are all going to miss you through the good times and the bad. You have only made us stronger as a family.’
Fred was born in Worthing and moved to Farlington with his family when he was 14. He used to work on a flower stall in Charlotte Street, Portsmouth.
He met his wife Pam at the age of 17 and they married two years later. They had three children and moved to a property in New Road, where they opened the florist together.
The eulogy was written by his wife, and read by The Very Reverend Paul Miles-Knight, who led the service.
He said: ‘He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
‘He was such a colourful character.’
His daughter Jayne Nancarrow, 41, added: ‘He was larger than life. He was a character.
‘He was one of a kind. He adored his grandchildren, every one of them. They were his pride and joy.
‘If he could have had us all living with him, he would have done.’
As the service drew to a close, Frank Sinatra’s My Way rounded things off and Fred’s coffin was carried out of the building.
Fred was buried at Kingston cemetery alongside his son Ricky, who died 17 years ago aged 21.