Tributes paid to ‘exemplary’ Clanfield councillor who died after brave battle against cancer
TRIBUTES have been paid to a loving ‘family man’ and ‘exemplary councillor’ who was a ‘leader of his community’.
Councillor Nigel Wren, of Horndean, died peacefully on Thursday after a determined two-year battle against cancer.
The courageous 62-year-old had acute myeloid leukaemia, an aggressive form of cancer which affects the blood.
He managed to beat the condition once, going into remission for more than a year, before it returned with vengeance in November.
He died just three days after being admitted to The Rowans Hospice.
His wife Brenda was devastated by her husband’s death, which came far quicker than she or her family had been expecting.
The 64-year-old said: ‘I was shocked at how quickly he died. But it was very peaceful. It was a release.
‘I knew he had had enough. He had been fighting so hard. He had such a rough road.
‘He was so loved. He had pictures of his grandchildren - who he absolutely adored - opposite him that he would focus on.’
Mrs Wren added: ‘I loved my husband to the moon and back. He gave me a great life. I’ll always miss him.’
Mr Wren, a former agricultural contractor, moved to Horndean after meeting Brenda. Before that, he lived near Alton.
The pair married on April 19, 1990, and ran Hazleton Farm before later opening up Hazleton Country Supplies about two years ago.
As well as being a well-known businessman in the area, Mr Wren also had a passion for politics, first serving on Horndean Parish Council before being elected in 2016 to serve as the ward councillor Clanfield and Finchdean on East Hampshire District Council.
Councillor Ken Moon, Mr Wren’s fellow ward councillor, said: ‘He was just an absolutely super guy and had the respect of all his colleagues. His loss was a great shock. I will miss him sorely.’
Councillor Andy Lee represents Rowlands Castle Parish Council and was Mr Wren’s friend.
He said: ‘Nigel was a determined figure who played a leading role in the local community as a district councillor.
‘He was one of the most courageous individuals I have known. He always - even until the end - had an eye for other people and how he could help them.
‘He retained a glint in his eye even though he was suffering quite considerably.’
In December Mr Wren donated four high-backed chairs for the oncology ward in Queen Alexandra Hospital, where he had spent time last year.
Councillor Guy Shepherd, who represents Horndean for the district council, said that was typical of Mr Wren’s kindness.
He added: ‘He will leave a big gap behind him. We’re all desperately sorry for his wife, Brenda, and their family.
‘Nigel was a real character, he was positive, jovial and proactive person. He was definitely one of the better councillors we had.’
While Gill Kneller, chief executive at the district council, said: ‘He was a popular and exemplary councillor who always fought for his residents and took his duties and responsibilities as a councillor very seriously.’
Mr Wren’s funeral will take place at The Oaks Crematorium, in Havant, on Monday, April 15.
Instead of flowers, his family has asked for donations to be made to The Rowans Hospice.
Mr Wren leaves behind his wife and their five grandchildren, Lilly, 11, Ollie, eight, Alfie, five, Ruby, three, and baby Jack, three months, as well as a number of children from previous marriages.