Rain

Rain

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: “Colourful character’ Mike Ames dies in hospital

PUBLISHED: 09:22 28 May 2014

Mike Ames

Mike Ames

Archant

A community stalwart – who was usually spotted in Bury St Edmunds wearing a flamboyant bow tie – wanted his home town to remember him as a “colourful character,” his family have said.

Mike Ames, 77, who was awarded a British Empire Medal in 2012 for services to the community in Bury St Edmunds, passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning.

His daughter Anthea Ames said he had just returned from his “paradise” in Spain at the weekend and died suddenly from an embolism on the liver at West Suffolk Hospital.

She said he had undergone a life-saving operation in 2012 which had given the family a “wonderful” extra two years with him.

She said her father wanted Bury to remember him as a “colourful character,” and to his family who knew him best he was “loving, supportive, encouraging and proud”.

“He was so proud of us all, his children and grandchildren. He took great pride in his family. And obviously he was a people’s person and he achieved so much for the town and the borough.

“He always said to us he wanted a celebration of his life and he didn’t want any tears.”

Mr Ames, who was married to Monica for more than 50 years, was pivotal in making Bury in Bloom the success it is today, and clocked up 25 years as chairman. Up until his death he had remained a committee member of the group, and he was also on the committee of the Bury Society.

Former Bury Society chairman Alan Jary described him as a “colourful character that we are all going to miss”.

“He was always in multi-coloured clothes and a coloured bow tie. He was Mr colour.”

Bury in Bloom co-ordinator Melanie Lesser described Mr Ames as an “inspiration”.

She said: “He will be sadly missed; his wisdom and enthusiasm for all things floral and his encouragement of young people within the town.”

She added: “He loved Bury St Edmunds and just wanted to put in everything he possibly could.”

Mr Ames, a devout Catholic, had been a teacher, finishing his career at St Louis Catholic Middle School.

Councillor John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Mike was a very special man, who will be much missed and very fondly remembered by so many.

“Nobody will forget his long service to St Edmundsbury (including as our mayor and deputy mayor), everything he did for Bury in Bloom in particular, and his wonderful bow ties – amongst so many other good things.

“He leaves Bury St Edmunds, which he cared about passionately, a much more colourful place than before he found it, and a wonderful legacy for his many friends and family, who have our deepest sympathies.”

Mr Ames was also town mayor from 2005 to 2006.

Mr Jary added: “He was apolitical and so he didn’t belong to a political party. He was Mike Ames and campaigned for what was best for Bury St Edmunds. And he fought for it and fought strongly for it.”

Mr Ames leaves three children and four grandchildren. A funeral date has not yet been set.

A man arrested in connection with an incident that saw armed police descend on Ipswich town centre last night will face no further action.

A brave Kesgrave teenager who lost a leg to cancer hit headlines for passing her driving test a year early but she may now face losing that independence – and her beloved car.

Jeremy Hunt has come under fire for a post he put on social media following a private visit to Ipswich Hospital.

The man who spearheaded efforts to build a northern by-pass across Ipswich 25 years ago has backed new plans to build the road that are now emerging.

A charity chief executive has spoken of ambitions to support the overburdened NHS in the future by extending its offer for young people.

Test your knowledge on our county by taking part in our quiz.

Police are growing “increasingly concerned” for the welfare of a missing 52-year-old Suffolk man.

Bosses at the Eastern Enterprise Hub and University of Suffolk hope gaming and technology students will be inspired to pursue their games ideas, after it emerged the gaming industry is one of the fastest growing locally.

A Shotley father with five drink-driving convictions has been jailed for 36 weeks after taking his mother’s car without consent and crashing it into a hedge.

Snow is falling across Suffolk and Essex today, but weather experts predict it will soon turn into rain.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24