December 8 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
A former lorry driver and popular pub landlord will be carried to his final resting place on the back of one of the vehicles he spent his career driving.
Hundreds of people are preparing to say their final goodbyes to Kevin Ridgeon after he died in a freak accident last weekend.
His wife Julie, who runs the Kingfisher Pub in Chantry, has thanked family, friends and customers for the outpouring of love and support after losing her husband.
She said she has been “humbled” by the cards and flowers she has received since her husband Kevin’s death just over a week ago.
Mr Ridgeon, 54, recently started work as a lorry driver in order to support the pub, after years owning a coach company in Essex.
But after driving an articulated lorry to Lichfield, near Birmingham on September 7, he fell backwards from the vehicle in the early hours of the morning. He died later that day in the University Hospital of North Staffordshire’s trauma centre.
His widow told The Star she is expecting more than 200 people to pay their respects when she and the couple’s two children Sam and Rob say their final goodbyes at his funeral next Friday, September 27.
In a fitting tribute to her husband, Mrs Ridgeon said their son will drive a lorry carrying his coffin from the pub in Hawthorn Drive through Ipswich to Seven Hills Crematorium where the funeral service will begin at 1.30pm.
The couple’s daughter Sam, a professional musician, is recording the song A Thousand Years, by Christina Perri to play during the service. The wake will be at the pub.
Mrs Ridgeon, 51, said: “I have just been overwhelmed with all the support, I am gobsmacked.
“The love and kindness people have shown has been amazing. It’s not just friends and family but customers from here and the two previous pubs we ran. Everyone has been so kind, I can’t tell you how many cards we have had. The kids and I are so grateful.
“Kevin would be amazed at the love people have shown, I didn’t realise people thought so highly of us. It is very humbling.”
To mark the fourth anniversary of running the pub, Mrs Ridgeon is holding a celebration on Saturday with fireworks to remember Mr Ridgeon.
To donate in his memory visit www.justgiving.com/Kevin-Ridgeon