Funeral of sailer who died at the wheel

DAVID Robert Guthrie designed and built his own boat at the age of 18 and spent many gloriously happy days sailing on the River Deben.Mr Guthrie, known as Bob, lived life to the full and today his friends and family gathered at his funeral at Sutton Church to say goodbye to the sailor who was a staunch supporter of the Deben Yacht Club.

DAVID Robert Guthrie designed and built his own boat at the age of 18 and spent many gloriously happy days sailing on the River Deben.

Mr Guthrie, known as Bob, lived life to the full and today his friends and family gathered at his funeral at Sutton Church to say goodbye to the sailor who was a staunch supporter of the Deben Yacht Club.

Mr Guthrie died at the wheel of his car on February 24 when his car was in collision with a Honda Accord and a BMW 318 near Hall Farm Road close to the traffic lights on Woods Lane, Melton.

His son, Roger Guthrie, from Cambridge, spoke proudly of the father he described as, "a strong but gentle man".


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"He was a family man and had been married to my mother for 51 years. His children and grandchildren are all scattered around the country but we all come down to this house.

"He loved it here on the shores of the River Deben and it inspired many of his water colours which hang in the home. He was great lover of art and architecture," he said.

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Bob was born in Liverpool where he trained to be an architect and then he practised in Tunbridge Wells for 30 years.

His life took many turns and while fighting in Arnhem for the Parachute Regiment during the Second World War he was captured by the German army and put on a train to a prisoner of war camp. He and some others managed to escape through a vent in the train and for six months he was on the run with the Dutch resistance.

This determination and enthusiasm for life coloured his later years.

He and his wife, Pat, moved up to their home near Sutton, 18 years ago when he retired and he became involved with the Deben Yacht Club.

Their beautiful home nestled between Sutton Hoo and the waters of the River Deben soon became a family home and he quickly became a valued member of the community.

Mr Guthrie continued: "He designed his first boat at the age of 18 and first sailed it in North Wales. He was a very active man and he used to take his boat all over Europe. The last boat was one he built and fitted out in 1968.

"He lived life to the full and although he was 81 he still had a bright and enquiring mind and was held in very high esteem by everyone who met him."

This sentiment was echoed in the words of Eddie Taylor, secretary of the Deben Yacht Club.

"He had time for everybody and was a tremendous supporter of the club, he was also very kind and enthusiastic.

"He was one of those guys who was a man for all seasons and for all people," he said.

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