- 66 years old
- Date of birth: Jul 9, 1950
- Place of birth:
Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Date of passing: Aug 22, 2016
- Place of passing:
Kings lynn, Norfolk, United Kingdom
|I've typed something here and deleted it two dozen times already. One sentence just isn't going to cut it for John. So please post your memories, stories and pictures here. Thank you.|
This tribute website was created in memory of our loved one, John Aitken, 66, born on July 9, 1950 and passed away on August 22, 2016.
"Read by Elizabeth Gill (nee Aitken), Lizzie, John's sister, at John's funeral:
"Before I begin, I’d like to pay tribute to Suzanne, Rachael and Jo who enveloped John with love throughout their lives together, and especially during this past year. Their hands-on tenderness and care in his final days ensured his wishes and needs were met around the clock, the greatest gift they could’ve given him.
John was - quite simply - a lovely brother to have. Being just the two of us, and being as Mum and Dad always presented a united front, and still do at 91, he and I became pretty close co-conspirators !!
He was an extremely protective brother, an endearing quality that endured throughout his life. Whether it be deflecting unwanted attention for me at teenage dances, or giving legal advice over the years, he was always there for me. As the younger, I grew up very much in his shadow, but adored him from day one, (and I have that on VERY good authority!)
In John’s case, the shadow in question was a huge one, not because he was REMOTELY overweight but because he was very popular, highly intelligent with a brilliant memory, a talented sportsman, and naturally funny to boot. Mum and Dad say our annual car journeys to Scotland as children to visit our two sets of grandparents always had a soundtrack of giggling coming from the back seat!
This of course, was long before the days of car radios and DVD players, so you can be sure the giggling was definitely self-generated!
John was a kind & caring person, he’d never pass a homeless person in the street without giving them something. As a brother, this generosity emerged especially at Christmas and birthdays, for example, introducing me at a seriously premature age, to make -up. A Mary Quant Paintbox for Christmas, followe by the Mary Quant PARTY Paintbox for my birthday 3 months later! Just what most young girls at that time dreamt of owning! I was delighted; poor Mum, on the other hand, one suspects, must’ve been quietly horrified!
To this day I treasure the beautiful gifts of jewellery he gave me in my late teens, presents that were far too extravagant for a humble young articled clerk, as he then was. I’m wearing them today, in his honour.
John’s sporting prowess was legendary. It was all down to his phenomenal hand/eye/ball co-ordination, - rugger, squash, fives (which he excelled at), golf, cricket, tennis, - even ping pong. He was Oundle’s Captain of several sports, and was playing hockey for Long Sutton well into his fifties.
One winter school-holidays, when we were quite young, we were taken to a frozen field down by the river. This was to be our first foray onto the ice. John of course, wearing Mum’s old ice skates, was away off in minutes and in no time was going backwards and doing twizzles! He evidently had excellent body-balance too!
John treated everyone as equals - aristocrats, workmen, whoever. There was always joking and banter wherever he went. In hospital, he be-friended all he encountered, - from the cleaners to the consultants. So typical of John.
His charm was never more evident than at work, where I gather many of his clients insisted on seeing only Mr. Aitken. And he worked incredibly hard on their behalf. It was a job he loved. Indeed, going to work proved to be John’s best tonic during his brave, but ultimately unbeatable battle with ill- health.
Less well-known is John’s “Big Moment” treading the boards. Yes, really. It came while he was at prep school. The production in question was The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, whose operettas became a life-long love of John’s. Bilton
Grange traditionally performed a different work every summer term. In his final year, John landed the romantic female lead role of Yum Yum - a missed vocation perhaps?!
At one point, dressed in a sumptuous kimono and Japanese wig, hired from The D’Oyley Carte Operatic Company no less, he took centre stage, all alone, to sing “The Sun Whose Rays …” better known as “The Moon and I”, a haunting love song of longing. The lights were dimmed except for an illuminated full moon on the backdrop behind him.
There, seemingly without nerves, stood John, just 12 yrs old, facing straight-on to the audience, singing out the beautiful lyrics to a lilting melody. And there sat one spellbound little sister, ‘wrapt, as she is now, in pride & admiration.
For her and for the rest of John’s family and friends, the tectonic plates of our lives may have shifted, but we must - as he would wish us to do, - “… look back with gratitude, look onward with hope, look forward with confidence …”.""
"I remember when I saw Uncle John for the first time after he shaved his beard. It was a shock, at age 12 I had never seen him with out it!! He must have seen my surprise as he said with a wink; 'It's ok Katy, now I look 10 years younger!'"
"Dad was the best X X"
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