One of the most well-known councillors in Bognor Regis has passed away.
Ian Stinchcombe died in the arms of his wife, Pat, at home on April 19 at the age of 81.
His funeral will be held at Chichester Crematorium at 1pm on May 6 followed by a celebration of his life at 2pm at Bognor Regis Methodist Church.
Mrs Stinchcombe said: “Ian loved this town. He had many memories of his life here.
“He was a kind friend to many and since his death many of the cards say he was a perfect gentleman and all the members of his family would agree.”
Ian’s family in Bognor goes back three generations. His maternal great-grandfather lived in the thatched cottage on Hook Lane, then called Brewery Lane, in the only house on what is now the Glenwood Estate.
Both his grandparents lived in the town, one in Magnolia on Annandale Avenue and the other at various addresses. His paternal grandmother had a guest house and used to entertain upper-class visitors and royalty, particularly during Goodwood week.
His mother’s family owned many of the hotels on Stocker Road and Ian came to Bognor with his mother and sister to escape London during the second world war.
His father stayed in the capital in charge of a heavy rescue team excavating people from buildings ruined in the air raids.
Ian grew up in London wanting to be a commercial artist. He was the top student of his art college in Ealing but two years’ conscription in the RAF, when he worked in an airport control tower, interrupted his plans.
His return to civilian life saw him change his career to accountancy. His sister introduced him to his future wife who lived just five streets away and they married and came to live in Bognor on the Glenwood Estate during the freezing February of 1963.
Ian worked for Butlin’s and couple joined the Methodist church where he helped the junior church staff, was a youth club leader and ran the toddlers’ group with Pat.
On retirement, he joined Pat as a Liberal Democrat member of Arun and Bognor councils for many years during the 1990s.
Their joint work involved creating the beacon for Europe on which Ian painted the shield and starting the Bognor in Bloom competition in 1992 where he filmed the entries and created the winners’ certificates.
Ian was a shy and reserved person but his love of working with children also saw him become a governor of Edward Bryant and South Bersted primary schools.
He enjoyed the countryside and the South Downs in particular. A motorhome bought on retirement brought him a lot of pleasure.
But his hopes of further holidays in Dorset and Devon when he stepped down from the councils were dashed by a serious stroke in May 2004.
This left him mainly confined to a wheelchair but, with his wife’s help, life was still worth living and the couple celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary earlier this year.
The loss of his eyesight also affected Ian in recent years though he was also able to overcome this setback to leave many people unaware of the disability.
Ian is survived by his wife Pat, their children Neil, Sandra and Rodney and four grandchildren.