Family's tributes to caring Calvin

CALVIN Ripper was blossoming into a "caring and affectionate" adult when he was taken from his family earlier this month.He had found love, applied for a flat and was looking forward to celebrating his 21st birthday.

CALVIN Ripper was blossoming into a "caring and affectionate" adult when he was taken from his family earlier this month.

He had found love, applied for a flat and was looking forward to celebrating his 21st birthday.

Today, his family and friends are preparing to say goodbye to the "exceptional" young man whose funeral will take place just two days before his birthday, on June 6.

Sue Hicks, 56, Calvin's mother, said: "He will always be my little boy. He was a really loving, generous son who I am going to miss very dearly.

"He didn't see me go without, especially since he started working.

"I did struggle bringing him up on my own but I had a son who I was proud of and who did me a credit."

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Mrs Hicks, of Martin Road, Ipswich, said Calvin was an outgoing young man who was close to his family.

He would socialise with his brothers and liked to drink and dance.

Mrs Hicks added: "He even danced for me. There are not many children who will dance for their own mother."

Calvin was living with his brothers in Ashmere Grove before his death and grew up in Ipswich, attending Hillside School and Stoke High.

He was shy as a youngster but came out of his shell when he joined the sea cadets at TS Orwell.

It was there that he learnt the leadership skills he relied on in his work as a computer programmer.

His boss and friend Nick Scales said he was asset to Avecho – the Colchester-based company where he worked for nearly three years.

The 43-year-old said: "It is hard to describe how exceptional he was. Out of 40 other people that worked for us he was one of the youngest and was the most respected in the whole business.

"He actually managed and mentored people twice his age and they let him do that because of how much they respected him and how much he had shown them. He has less experienced and less academic but he outshone them completely without being pushy or rude. Everybody has said how completely dedicated and committed he was. Every single person in the company considered him a friend."

It was while returning from the company's office in Braxted, Essex, that Calvin lost his life on May 19.

He was on his way back to Ipswich to play basketball when his car collided with a lorry in Rivenhall. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

CALVIN'S death came just months after he embarked on a relationship with Emma Stewart-Parver.

Mrs Hicks believes her son was serious about the relationship and was planning to propose to his partner.

Miss Parver, 20, said: "Calvin was my partner and soul mate. Our love was sparked from the friendship we had as his qualities shone through and won my heart.

"He was loving and caring, affectionate and understanding and his joy came from sharing and being with the people he loved most. He was the most amazing person I have ever known and he brought so much happiness and love into my life. I will never forget what we had and the hope we had for a future together. I will always cherish the memories of our perfect love."

Calvin will be remembered by his siblings as a friend as well as a brother.

His brothers Mark, 23, John, 26, Karl, 35, Garry, 38 said: "He will always be in our hearts. We will never forget all the nights we went out together where we had the best times of our life. Calvin was the most kind, generous and loving brother who would do anything for his family and friends whenever they needed help. We will always remember the fun and joy he brought into our lives and he will be in our memories forever. Without him in our lives we wouldn't be the people are today."

His 40-year-old sister Debbie said despite the age gap between her and her brother they were also close.

She added: "The last memories I have of him are turning up for my 40th in a bright cerise suit looking like a 70s pimp. Three weeks ago he turned up on my doorstep to introduce his girlfriend Emma. This is how I would like to remember him as he looked so happy on that day.

"He told me at Christmas he was here to make waves. He was here to keep pushing because people had to change."

Calvin lost his father to a heart attack shortly before his 18th birthday but remained a family man and loved his many nieces and nephews.

He also extended his love to Mr Scales' daughter Jorja who has learnt her alphabet by remembering "C for Calvin."

Calvin's funeral will take place at 2.45pm on June 8 at Ipswich Crematorium.

Donations in his memory can be made to DebRa, a charity close to Calvin's heart which works on behalf of people with a genetic blistering skin condition.

Calvin's grandparents Margaret and Lesley Potter, of Curlew Road, Ipswich, said: "Our lovely grandson Calvin was taken from us so suddenly, he was a lovely kind-hearted boy and will be missed by me and his granddad."

His aunt Pat Allington, cousins Dawn Allington, Lee White and Peter Shuge of Elm Road, Rushmere St Andrew, said: "Calvin was a lovely likeable boy who will be missed by all of his family and friends. He has put so much into his young life. Our thoughts and love are with him always."