The funeral was held at St John’s Church, Yeadon on Thursday, 24th May at 10.15am. The family asked for donations to be made to The Brain Tumour Charity.
Maxine Aldred read the following eulogy at the funeral service:
It is my honour to be able to say a few words on behalf of the Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome Support Group of which John was Chair and an integral committee member for so many years. We will all have our own lasting memories of John but I would like to share one or two significant memories of ours with you.
We were so excited as a group to be advised we were shortlisted for a grant for our trip taking 2 coachloads of RTS families to the 2011 International Conference in Holland. On a very cold and snowy December day, John, Gill and I made our way down to London to give our presentation to a panel of high ranking, influential people. Our first experience was to lose John at St Pancras where we had arranged to all meet up. After some time of searching the station and calling John, Gill and I gave up and made our way to the venue. Needless to say when we arrived who should be sitting there enjoying a cup of tea, but John. We forgave him at the end of our presentation when we were congratulated on our passion for our cause. We were subsequently awarded our grant.
John was equally at home around fame and fortune. As our Chairman he represented us at the Newman’s Own Foundation Reception held at the National Theatre, South Bank in May 2010. In true John style, having been presented with the cheque he schmoozed the room including Hugh Grant who was there representing another charity. Once again his passion for RTS knew no bounds.
John’s excitement overflowed when he heard RTS mentioned live on Sky TV by Rob Burrow. Rob had always promised him that if he was ever Man of the Match, he would donate his reward to the RTS Group. As non-sporting women on the committee, the first we knew of this was when our phones starting pinging with the text. John always said that this was one of the most unforgettable highlights of his charity work.
We have so many fond memories of John from over the years and last but not least was John’s ongoing campaign to recruit additional men onto the committee. For many years John had to endure being the only male on the committee of 12.
John was one of life’s good people and his straight talking Yorkshire personality and unwavering support were a huge asset to our committee. His fundraising activities; the RTS Golf Day and the RTS Sportsman’s Dinner over the years made in the region of £100,000. A significant achievement and one that John was, quite rightly, very proud of.
The gratitude of RTS members has become very apparent over the last week with floods of messages being received including messages from Professor Raoul Hennekam, Dr Adam Shaw and Professor Chris Oliver. John was known to so many families within the RTS community.
John, it has been an honour to have worked alongside you for so many years and on behalf of the RTS Group, we want to thank you for always being there. We will miss you, but never forget you. Your legacy lives on.
Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family.
You will be sorely missed and never forgotten.
RIP John. x