THE sudden death of Charles William Whitwell of Donington on Bain came as a great shock to his family and neighbours and friends in the village and from a wide surrounding area.
He had celebrated his 80th birthday just 12 days earlier, and while Charlie – as he was known to all – had really enjoyed his special birthday, his family also have happy memories of sharing the celebrations with him such a short time before he died.
He was up and about as usual that day, doing his jobs around the house before preparing to keep a morning appointment with his doctor as he had not been feeling too well and called his daughter to ask her to drive him there.
He had brought the car round to the house so that it was ready to go, but as he got out he had collapsed, where his wife found him.
A visitor to the village school next door gave assistance until the First Responders and then paramedics arrived and battled to try to revive him, but he never recovered.
Charlie is survived by his wife Alice, to whom he had been married 59 years, stepson Brian Chapman, daughters Elizabeth Stutchbury, Doreen Field and Sarah Stamp, five grandchildren and one great-grandson, Harry-Jack.
He was born at Alvingham in 1931, one of two sons and a daughter to the late Harold and Florence Whitwell, and his sister Mary Sims of Donington on Bain is also well known in the area from her long association with the former local milk delivery round.
The family then moved to Hainton, where he spent his childhood and attended the village school, and eventually they made their home at Biscathorpe.
Leaving school at 14 he joined the late George England of Donington on Bain as a builder’s apprentice, working for him until, at 18, he was called up to do his National Service.
He spent his two years serving in the Navy, and after he was demobbed in 1951 he worked for the Air Ministry at the Blue Stone Heath Camp, cycling there each day until it closed, when he established his own business as a builder and carpenter.
He was always in demand to do repairs and other work for people in the area, particularly on local farms, and he continued in business until he retired.
He met his wife to be, Alice, in a little shop in the village where she worked for relatives, and after their marriage in 1952 they set up home in a cottage, now demolished, in Old School Lane in Donington on Bain.
They then bought a thatched cottage on a large plot of land in the village centre and, with help from Alice, who helped to dig the trenches, his brother-in-law and an electrician, Charlie built the bungalow in his spare time which has been the family home for over 50 years.
A period of ill health 17 years ago involved operations and treatment, but he was never heard to complain and fully recovered to enjoy his retirement, while more recently he had become ‘chief cook and bottle washer’ while caring for his wife when she was ill.
An active member of the local community, Charlie was involved in many social and fundraising events in the village and served on the Donington on Bain Parish Council for many years.
He was a founder member of the Harold True Charity Trust which used the money left by Harold True to build and manage a bungalow in Enfield Road for letting to elderly residents, and he also served on the Elizabeth Lorens Trust managing funds left for the poor in the village.
He was a long-standing member of the Village Hall Management Committee, serving as a vice-chairman and also as a trustee for many years, and served on the Donington on Bain Rovers Football Club Management Committee after playing for the team when he was younger.
He was recognised as perhaps the only goalkeeper who had been known to run the length of the pitch to score goals against the opposition!
His sporting interests also included taking part in charity walks, including the Kennedy Memorial from Louth to Skegness and back, and fishing.
As a young boy growing up in Hainton he used to creep out early in the morning and go fishing in Lord Heneage’s lake, but then attended St Mary’s Church on Sundays where he would have to pump the bellows for the organ.
More recently he had joined the Market Rasen Wednesday Angling Club, where he fished regularly enjoying happy hours with fellow enthusiasts.
The service of committal was held at Alford Crematorium. This followed his funeral service at St Andrew’s, Donington on Bain, where the esteem in which he was held was illustrated by the large and representative congregation that filled the church to overflowing with standing room only for many.
The Rev John Parkin officiated with Mrs Pam Cade at the organ.
Funeral arrangements were made by Lincolnshire Co-operative Funeral Services, incorporating V Walker of Louth.
Family mourners: Mrs Alice Whitwell, wife; Elizabeth and John Stutchbury, Doreen and Andy Field and Sarah and Dave Stamp, daughters and sons-in-law; Brian Chapman and Lisa Stepson and partner; Owen Stutchbury, Jack Stutchbury, Daniel Field and Samantha Hutchinson (also representing Harry-Jack, great-grandson), Laura Field and Jamie Field, grandchildren; Mr John and Mrs Mary Sims, brother-in-law and sister; Mr Peter Whitwell, brother; Russell Whitwell, nephew; Mr Jim and Mrs Mary Atkinson; Mr Neville and Mrs Carol Atkinson; Mr Denis and Mrs Judy Bassham and Mrs Muriel Smith, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; Mr Paul Smith, Mr David and Mrs Iris Atkinson, Mr John Atkinson, also representing Mrs Norah Atkinson; Mr Keith Atkinson, also representing Mrs Hazel Atkinson; Mr Malcolm and Mrs Linda Atkinson, nephews and nieces; Mrs Ann Field and Mr Nick and Mrs Sue Wray.
Other mourners: Mr William Wallis; Mr John Turner; Mr Colin Good; Mr Frank Wallis; Mr Henry and Mrs Pat Smith; Mrs Jean Wallis; Mr Philip Crowley, also representing Mrs Gill Crowley; Mrs B Goodwin; Mr and Mrs George Tucker; Mr Neil Pawson, also representing the Harold True Trust; Mr Keith Lee, also representing Mr John Lee; Mr David and Mrs Alison Parker; Mr Alec and Mrs Lyn Small; Mr and Mrs David Bett; Mr Andrew Bett; Mr Tony and Mrs Wendy Arnold, also representing Mrs Vera Turner; Mr Pete and Mrs Pauline Stubbs; Mrs Lynn Chambers, also representing Mr Martyn Chambers; Trudy Winter; Evelyn Spendlow; Mr Cyril and Mrs Ruby Willoughby; Mrs Mavis Stubbs; David Appleyard; Jim Hewson, also representing the Wednesday Angling Club; Richard Edrich, Keith Fridlington, also representing P Collins (Gastaline); Nigel and Jill Trafford; Denis and Jean Thompson; Enid Hotchin, also representing Emma Hotchin; Sue Forman; Tony and Carol Stubbs; Ray and Jenny Walters; Mr Chris and Mrs Mary Paddison; Barbara To, also representing Chambers family; Dick Chambers, also representing the Chambers family; Mr and Mrs Keith Wallis; Mrs Edna Turner, also representing Mrs Sue Crowley; Mr and Mrs John Cope, also representing Penny Meldrum and family; Sue Misson; Graham and Lynne Parkinson, also representing Richard and Mary Anne Drinkel and family; Nicholas Bett; Pamela Kidd; Mrs Jackie Taylor, also representing Mrs Jenny Ward, Paul and Annie Cullam and Donington on Bain Parish Council; David and Carolyn Short; Ken Reeson; Emily Jayne Arnold; Mr Bryan and Mrs Rosemary Parkinson, also representing Mr Phil and Mrs Alison and Thomas; Julie Paddison; Joan Baldock; Paul Slinger, also representing Rai Greenwood and Carolyn Slinger; Kevin Wallis, also representing Donington on Bain Village Hall Management Committee and Donington Rovers Football Club; Mrs Sue Rutter, also representing Donington on Bain Village Primary School; Mr David Wallis, also representing Mrs Helen Wallis; David Dixon; David and Pauline Lowe and others.