RAYMOND MARKLEY, director and owner of Cherry Holt Garden Centre, Bourne, died at his home at The Covert, Thurlby, aged 63.
He was the son of George and Kay Markley and was educated at Eastfield Boys School, Peterborough.
On leaving school he started an apprenticeship with Baker Perkins and then worked at Perkins Engines in Peterborough for 18 years. He later worked as a design engineer for Hotpoint for 12 years.
Ray bought the old foundry on Cherry Holt Road, Bourne, and kept it working until he was forced to close through competition from China. With his two sons, Chris and Kevin, he removed the foundry to become a retail outlet and with his vision and management it is now a centre with garden displays, chickens and ducks, summer houses and sheds.
He was very friendly, with a great sense of humour and happy to talk to everyone, especially if they had an engineering background and was happy to help by thinking of ways to get over problems and helping people out with their projects. He often had everyone laughing at his stories and there was no denying that he was a born storyteller.
His interests included restoring machines and anything old and interesting and collecting lawn mowers, tape measures, bottles, jars, pots, brass measures, scales, lead soldiers, toy cars, stamps and coins. He loved rummaging in car boot sales and charity shops for unusual and useful things. He was a great character who touched many people’s lives and his sudden departure has been both shocking and unbelievable.
Bereaved are his widow Jackalyn, children Emma, Chris and Kevin, and grandchildren Oliver and Lily Jarrett, Amelia, Lewis, Anna, Evie and Max Markley.
The Rev Janet Beadle officiated at the funeral service at St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Langtoft. Cremation at Marholm followed. Debbie Howard was organist.
Mourners included: Jackalyn Markley, Emma and David Jarrett, Oliver and Lily Jarrett, Kevin and Hayley Markley, Millie Markley, Chris and Kelly Markley, Ron and Margaret Markley, Ian and Verena Markley, Ryan Markley, Claire and Harry Jackson, Pat Cooper, Glenis and Peter Field, Sandra Hills, Alan Newton, Alex, Tina Murry, Maureen and Pete Coupe, Janet and Bob Eggleton, Alex and David Exton, Kathy Russell, Anne Slimmon, Marcus and Katy Plant, Ruth, Peter, Sam and Elizabeth Tysoe, Ian Mansfield, Jan Hebblewhite, James Shackell, Rosie and Ray Shackell, Julian Goodfellow, Edward Plant, Joel Fairham, Bronwen and Chris Mason, Pat Richards, Aubrey and Kath Barber, Tess and Tony Parkinson, Eileen and Terry Midgeley, Maureen and Tony Meek, Gary Cowling, Steve Maryniak, Anne Cope, John and Margaret Gregson, Pete Elmore, Ray Jackson, Steve Ralph, Leigh and Kerry Stanswick, Garry Taylor, Joan and Ray Taylor, Brian, Karen, Alisa Dowland, Linda Tyler, Tony Butterworth, David Hopkins, Dave Bimson, Sue Lilley. Representing Peterborough Regional College - Alison and Mostyn Davies, Maureen, Michael and Lyn Taylor, Andrew and Lisa Kirby, Lorraine and Ken Ferguson, Sheila and John Dix.