Tributes to former estate agent

A FORMER Portishead estate agent died just a week after celebrating his 75th birthday surrounded by family and friends.

John Willes died on November 7 following a battle with cancer but, despite his ill health, still managed to organise and attend a bash to mark his birthday on October 30.

A father to four daughters, John was well-known in Portishead as a regular contributor to the Round Table, for which he was chairman in 1974-75, and also the 41 Club.

After an army career, which saw him serve in Germany and Cyprus with The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, John became an estate agent.

He worked for Hartnell, Taylor and Cook before embarking on his own business venture called John Willes & Co, which opened in Portishead’s High Street in ???


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The estate agency closed down in 1988 when John branched out into financial services.

His first marriage was to Penelope Douglas from Clevedon and he later married Susan Croome in 1995, when he moved to Shipham.

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In 2005, John was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and two years later, despite going into remission, was diagnosed with a second cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

His daughter Emma from Portishead, said: “Throughout his ongoing six-year battle with cancer he maintained a positive attitude with great strength and fortitude.

“He had always said so long as he could make the party that was all that mattered and he kept his word.”

A funeral was held at Holy Trinity Church in Abbots Leigh on November 23.

John leaves his daughters Debbie, Sarah, Tessa and Emma, wife Sue, brother Peter, eight grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.

* Tributes to John can be left using the comments box below.

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