Farewell to much-loved son

A GRIEVING Felixstowe family will summon up all their courage today to say goodbye to fun-loving Alexander Parish who died after an A140 car crash.His death came shortly after his brother Tom had also been injured in another accident shortly before the tragedy.

A GRIEVING Felixstowe family will summon up all their courage today to say goodbye to fun-loving Alexander Parish who died after an A140 car crash.

His death came shortly after his brother Tom had also been injured in another accident shortly before the tragedy.

Family and friends were the two most important things in life for Alex who died after his car collided with a wall on the A140 at Stonham Parva.

But today those people he loved so much are due to attend the funeral of a popular young man who was on the threshold of an exciting life.


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The 21-year-old's parents, Ralph and Angela, both teachers, of Leopold Road, Felixstowe, were away in Nottingham visiting their other son, Tom, 18, who was in hospital after breaking a leg, when they heard the news.

Today the couple will lead mourners at St Mary's Church, Walton, Felixstowe.

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The church was expected to be packed, with mourners including Alex's friends from Loughborough University, where he was studying to be a civil engineer, and Felixstowe, and many relatives.

Trimley St Mary primary - where Mrs Parish teaches - has brought in extra staff so head Richard Griffiths and a number of staff can attend.

Since the tragedy, the family has been swamped with cards and letters of sympathy and support.

"We can say what Alex was like - but we are biased because we are his parents. It has been lovely though to read so many other people saying the same things, the things we have been saying and thinking," said Mrs Parish.

"He was full of life, full of fun, so outgoing. He seemed to be at the centre of everything and the house was always full of friends.

"He would only be back five minutes, and he would be organising where they would be going and meeting up.

"He had real people skills - he was able to bring people together and they seemed to naturally gravitate towards him.

"At his recent 21st birthday, he had friends from Loughborough and friends from Felixstowe and he brought them together and they had a wonderful time - and because of that they have been in touch and everyone who comes to the funeral has somewhere to stay.

"So many of his friends have been round to see us, too - they come in crying and start talking about Alex and end up smiling. He brought such fun and that's what people remember and loved about him."

Alex was born in Papua New Guinea, where his parents were both working. They moved back to Britain when he was a few months old, but then moved to the Bahamas when he was just toddler.

When he was six they returned to live in Felixstowe. It was when he was attending Colneis Junior and Deben High - where his school reports showed his character, "exhuberant, lively, fun, mischievous" - that he developed a love of football.

He played for Kirton Kestrels, Trimley Red Devils, and the Golden Hind, whose under 18s won the Suffolk league two years in a row, before playing for their men's team Walton Rangers, and Dickersons in the Sunday League.

While at university, he captained his house side. He also enjoyed hockey, swimming, squash, water polo and working out at the gym.

He was on a four-year civil engineering course at Loughborough.

Mr Parish, a physics teacher at Deben High said he and his wife had gone to visit their younger son Tom, a student at Nottingham University, after he suffered a broken leg when he was knocked off his bike.

Alex had dashed out to get a get well card before they left. Later that day he went to a party in Norwich and was on his way home when the crash happened.

N Alex was "one in a billion", a friend like a brother full of "fun and zest for life" see In Memoriam on page 18.

n Alex's parents have chosen the charity Goal, which gives humanitarian aid to children affected by emergencies in the developing world, for people to make donations to in their son's memory.

"He loved children and always got on well with them and he would have wanted to help them," said Mrs Parish.

The charity can be contacted at www.goal.ie or Goal UK, 7 Hanson Street, London, W1P 7LJ.

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