THE FAMILY of a retired steam train driver has paid tribute after he died, aged 83.
Dennis Roy Ford, known by his family and friends as Roy, died from cancer just days after being admitted to The Rowans Hospice in Purbrook.
Before moving to Hayling Island in 2001, Roy was a steam train driver in London for over 45 years.
Roy’s wife, Vera Ford, 79, says that although they did not participate in any local clubs or activities, Roy was always welcoming to members of his community.
She said: ‘He was a very friendly man, and he would help anybody out. We would help neighbours out mainly because of our age, but he always invited people in for a cup of tea.’
Born in Sheffield on December 18, 1932, Roy met Vera in 1958 when he was lodging with her hairdresser in London, and married in 1960.
Roy, of Laburnum Grove, was a familiar face on Hayling Island.
He was often seen standing outside a convenience store with his two dogs, while Vera did their food shopping.
In his later years, Roy enjoyed gardening and watching television.
Vera said: ‘I cannot say I have got over it, but at least he is not suffering any more.’
Roy is survived by his sons David, 53, and Peter, 51, and daughter Carla, 46.
The family would like to thank their neighbours and friends who made donations totalling more than £1,000 to The Rowans Hospice and the Rocky Appeal.