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Well-known Ipswich butcher dies

PUBLISHED: 14:48 15 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 March 2010

ERIC Swindin, the last surviving partner of a well-known chain of family butchers has died after a 20-year battle with Parkinson's disease.

Mr Swindin, 69, had just returned to the home in Harkstead he shared with his wife Jill, 64, after a fortnight in respite care when he died in her arms.

ERIC Swindin, the last surviving partner of a well-known chain of family butchers has died after a 20-year battle with Parkinson's disease.

Mr Swindin, 69, had just returned to the home in Harkstead he shared with his wife Jill, 64, after a fortnight in respite care when he died in her arms.

Mr Swindin was born above his father's butchers shop in Great Colman Street, Ipswich, in December 1932.

He and his elder brother John were educated at Ipswich High School, Ipswich School and at boarding school in Culford, just outside Bury St Edmunds.

Although his first love was farming, after completing national service and a butcher's school in Holland and Germany, Mr Swindin joined his older brother in 1951 running the business started by their father in 1927.

At its height the business had seven shops and a factory in Ipswich. For many years it resisted competition from the supermarkets, but by the mid-1980s there was just one Swindin's butchers shop left, in Queensway in Ipswich.

Mr Swindin was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1983 and had to close that last shop three years later because of his condition.

But he and his wife remained prominent in the community for their work publicising Parkinson's disease.

Mrs Swindin, a trained nurse and a former leader of the Conservative group on Ipswich Borough Council, and her husband formed the Ipswich and East Suffolk branch of the Parkinson's Disease society.

Within three years the branch had raised £10,000 towards research into the condition and acquired 150 members.

Mrs Swindin described her husband as a dependable, hard-working, charming, uncomplaining man with an infectious sense of humour who overcame his shyness to promote knowledge about Parkinson's disease.

She added he had been a keen ballroom dancer who loved the outdoors and had walking and gardening among his passions.

He leaves a widow and two sons Andrew, 32, and Robin, 30. Details of his funeral will be announced later.

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