Tributes paid to an ‘inspirational’ great-grandad

TRIBUTES Derek Bockett, who has died, was presented the Robert Lawrence medal in recognition of his 60 years with Type 1 diabetes last year. Picture: Sarah Standing (121330-9679)

A GREAT-GRANDFATHER who refused to let diabetes stop him from living life to the full has died aged 76.

Derek Bockett, from Southsea, lived with Type 1 diabetes for 61 years, injecting himself with insulin tens of thousands of times.

He remained active throughout his life, despite the debilitating effect diabetes in its severest form can have, and died doing something he loved – walking in Queen Elizabeth Country Park, near Petersfield on Saturday, November 23.

Derek’s son, who is also called Derek, paid tribute to his active father. He said: ‘Dad was a fantastic father and grandfather and we will miss him. Losing him has left a huge hole in our lives.

‘I was proud of all the work he did in the community. He was an inspiration to everyone in the way he lived life to the full, not allowing his diabetes to hold him back.’

Derek senior supported three diabetes charities: Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation, the JDRF Type 1 research foundation, and was a member of the Portsmouth & Southsea Diabetes UK support group.

Lee Calladine, events co-ordinator at DRWF said: ‘Over the years we have known him Derek has become a real friend and we had all grown very fond of him.

‘He will be missed by all of us here at the charity and everyone who met him at our events. The walking holiday and events won’t be the same without him.

Derek was a Portsmouth Healthy Walk leader, took part in diabetes research at QA Hospital and assisted pharmacy students at the University of Portsmouth.

He gave talks to diabetes support groups, and organised groups to fundraise for the JDRF annual sponsored walks.

A lifelong Pompey supporter, he was often seen wearing his team shirt at charity events.

His funeral will be held at Milton Cemetery on Friday at 2pm.

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