ForeverMissed
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the death of our Dad - Mike Orsbourn. He passed away Friday March 5th after suffering a stroke on Wednesday March 3rd. He was born November 10th, 1945 in Woodford, London, and lived 75 amazing years.

Part of the grieving process is often continued after a funeral where loved ones and friends reminisce together of their memories of Mike.  That wasn’t possible because of COVID-19 constraints so we hopefully can use this site to host your memories of Mike for Mum to read. We’re hoping we could ask you for your help in the following:
1) Please write a message of condolence in memory of Dad, a story that comes to mind of your relationship with him, or something that will aid Mum and our family through these difficult times. There is also an area for you to upload a photo that reminds you of a great time with Dad. We really appreciate you taking the time to do this. Similarly, please share this news and this information with anyone that you believe may want to know of this news. It is difficult for us to know whom to contact just because Dad was loved by so many.
2) As I’m sure you can imagine, Mum/ Betty is incredibly distraught at this time. We are doing everything possible to keep her in as good spirits as possible while managing her day-to-day care as a Parkinson’s sufferer. We are trying to help her by establishing a structured itinerary for her day (much like Dad tried) and we have found that around 2.30 pm - 3.30 pm, she is typically in a good place to speak and converse. We are therefore wanting to try and establish that hour slot as a time for people to call, and/ or once COVID19 allays, visit. I know this may seem a little strange but it can be quite wearing for Mum to have too much going on at one time and this will really help her. In the weeks ahead, it would be wonderful if you could reach out to her during this period to keep her company and check in on her. 
We have set up this GoFund me donation page to support Mum’s immediate care needs. We thank everyone who has contributed so far and those with the means to do so that do. 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-betty-orsbourn-with-parkinsons-care?member=9292286&sharetype=teams&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer
Posted by Pauline Groves on March 25, 2021
We met you and Mike at your First Ladies Night. This was our first Masonic function, we knew very few people and didn’t know what to expect. However you both made a point of making us feel so welcome and we have valued your friendship ever since.

Later I become a Mason and during my years of learning the craft Mike was the person who was always there for help,guidance, support and encouragement, and I know that many other brothers felt the same. Mike was a real gentleman and will be sorely missed.

Norman & Pauline Groves
Posted by Carl Orsbourn on March 17, 2021
Here are the words that I spoke during Dad's funeral service earlier this week.

No son ever wants to be stood at a moment like this, at a time of deep sorrow and shock. Dad was always the one that offered to be the shoulders of responsibility to take on such a task.

But just as life has its fleeting moments, death too can be just as flashing in its occurrence but so long in its effect on those left behind. And so, it is in these moments that it is important to reflect and to celebrate Dad and to remind ourselves how important life is to embrace and cherish each and every moment we have together. Dad celebrated life in every which way he could. He lived a full life, with a loving wife, three amazing sons, and five adorable grandchildren that filled him with pride.

When Dad’s own father passed away, when he was still a young boy, he inherited a huge burden of responsibility upon his shoulders. He dealt with his own grief through sports. Something he particularly excelled in – pretty much all the way through his life – much to his son’s disgruntlement whenever we partook. His love of rugby and Athletics, in particular, played a big role in his earlier years where he reached a high level of capability and raced alongside Olympic greats such as Herb Elliott. But after his running shoes were put aside, he found joy in competitive moments during family get-togethers. Whether we were playing bowls in the garden family competition in the summer or pin the tail on the donkey during a Christmas get-together. Or he would demonstrate his graceful moves through dancing with friends in black tie suits and glamorous ball-room attire. Times and memories that may seem long ago to us now, still are rich and vivid in their impact to all of us in our fond memories of Dad. We must hold on to those.

My Dad was my hero. To many of us he was our hero. To some, he was a leader, a calm authoritative voice who demonstrated an abundance of integrity and poise with each and every interaction. He served his community throughout his life. From leading the UK’s first sport & leisure centre in Harlow, through to his leadership roles in local government at both the London Borough of Enfield and later, Redbridge. There he held many responsibilities but by far the one that tested him the most was running events with tens of thousands of people listening to the likes of James Brown singing at one of his popular Redbridge Show concerts.

To others, he was not attributed a role, but he was seen more as of a voice of reason, an orator that could capture a room with a kindness that always showed he cares; and he was a teacher that always spared time to impart his knowledge – especially outside the classroom. In his later years, he ran his own business to share that wisdom, and through City & Guilds inspect the quality of teaching at learning institutions across the country. He also taught classes himself and shared a plethora of business and leadership skills. His sound reasoning capabilities helped him become a successful magistrate to demonstrate his apt ability to judge fairly but firmly. Dad’s wisdom wasn’t born from a god-given gift. It came from sacrifice and hard work, with a drive to give much more than he ever received. And of course, most recently, he gave up so much of his time, without regret nor complaint, to be Mum’s carer as she battles Parkinson’s.

To me, Dad could be described in so many ways but he has lived a full and rich life – a life that has touched so many people in so many amazing ways, he truly has set the standard of how to live a good and wholesome life.
I feel so blessed and humbled to have had someone like my father to be my Dad. To have all that time with him is such a gift that my family and I have each been bestowed. As I have grown older, I became more and more amazed by how special Dad truly was. But even for the young amongst us, you could never miss how immense his sense of fun, his love for his children, and grandchildren warmed his soft centre and kind-spirited heart.

Dad was so very content with his life. He traveled to scores and scores of countries, made friends in every country he visited, listened calmly, spoke softly, and always treated people with respect.

Dad gave his time to everyone, to always support and care – that is unless there was an England Rugby game on and in those moments, there could be a volcano erupting outside and he wouldn’t budge.

Our website which memorializes Dad is going to be a wonderful place for each of us to share our stories and memories of him. I’d encourage each of you to put your own words down on it – not just for us as we come to terms with someone that we will miss so very very much but as someone that we will celebrate, aspire to be more like, and ask ourselves in times of pain or struggle, ‘what would Dad, Grandad, Uncle Mike, Mike do in a situation like this? Those thoughts will often help us make the right decision.

And so now, our minds turn to Mum, Betty – his most dear wife who made a great man, greater. Who brought him out of his shell, who encouraged him to try new things, and challenged his, let’s be honest, stubborn ways. Mum is coping with a huge void in her life but in her own selfless ways, she’s demonstrating the strength to carry on, to strive forward, and to live a happy life. Dad would want that for you Mum. And each of us, here today, and all around the world listening in, will be there for you. A simple call, a letter, a card, and of course once COVID allays, plenty of hugs and time together.

We will get through this. Dad expects it of us and we owe this fine gentleman a promise. A promise to look out for Mum, for each other and to take the steps he took in his life with as much impact and kindness as he took in his own.

We will miss you Dad. We love you – forever.
Posted by Jean Orsbourn on March 17, 2021

Dear Mike,

There are so many things I want to write and say - it still feels so surreal.

Thanks for always being there for my family

Being an amazing father-in-law

For all your wisdom, time, advice, and love

You made our times together so much fun

I have known you for more than half my life, to be exact 26 years. I would often joke that I was your favourite daughter in law, and he would reply “ Jean your my only daughter in law” (at the time).

We always had this little saying between us, when it was time to say goodbye. I would say see you later, and Mike would always reply “no Jean I will see you soon......”

Mike had a very dry sense of humour, which our son Xavier has inherited from his Grandad.
He loved all his grandchildren and loved them all equally.
Mike had the most amazing bond with Mark, they shared so many interests, the time they renovated Marks boat -I would pop down and make sure they had plenty of food and drink to keep them going all day!
Their love of rugby - Mike would change plans or be fixated to the television - he loved his rugby.
In recent years, Mark joined his Dad as a Mason. Mike was extremely proud of Mark and this was evident for all to see.
We’ve been so lucky to have the love and help/support that the Masons have given us over the pass 2 weeks.
Mike was truly a great man, and was loved by many. Especially by us five.
He will be forever in our hearts - From your loving daughter in law Jean xxxxx
Posted by Andy Rolfe on March 16, 2021
I have known Mark since the 1980's when we first worked at Marks and Spencer together. We began to socialise outside of work and this is when I first met Mike and Betty.

Mike was always very warm and friendly to me. He was also very sensible and was keen to set a good example to myself and Mark. However, he often had a twinkle in his eye that led us to believe that he remembered what it was like being a young man.

He always had a valued opinion and an explanation when things didn't go to plan. He was a hard working man who adored his Family, this was a pleasure to observe when visiting their home.

Myself and my wife, Renai, send our sincerest condolences to the Family and hope that all are comforted in this darkest of times by knowing that Mike was so highly thought of by all who knew him.

With love, The Rolfe Family xxxx
Posted by Hayley Ledgerton on March 15, 2021
Such an amazing, polite and loving Gentleman
I will miss you so very much. I enjoyed our chats, your advice was nothing but spot on. You have no idea how much I will miss our Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I feel so very lost. But I shall treasure each and every memory we shared and I will hold them, so very close to my heart, forever and always.
Now who’s going to carry my Hoover?
Now go and sleep peacefully.
I will never, ever forget you.
Love always,
Hayley xx
Posted by Brian Smith on March 15, 2021
Dear Betty and Family. It is nearly 40 years ago that we met Mike. In those 40 years we have spent many happy evenings together both formal and informal, serious or funny (think Xmas sing-alongs). Many have been organized by Mike, no doubt aided by Betty. Always the gentleman, always the motivator, always the friend
The news of Mike’s passing has shocked us both immensely just as we thought the year of shocks was nearing its end. Perhaps the worst is that we can’t be with you today in person to say a final farewell. We shall both miss Mike
Brian and Lesley
Posted by Judith Wheeler on March 15, 2021
Dear Betty,
words don`t say the very sad thoughts Mick and I feel, for you and your family. This kind of very sudden death does not give anyone time to reflect or prepare, please accept our heart felt thoughts.

We have together planned so many ladies festivals for East Gate Lodge and had a few laughs over years. Indeed sharing a couple of glasses of wine or cups of coffee , Mike always did the best spread sheets ever ,to keep us on the track.
Stay strong Mick and Judi Wheeler
Posted by Elicia Orsbourn on March 15, 2021
It is with such sadness and heartache that I try to write the right words to offer tribute to Dad. It happened so quickly and it still does not feel real.

I feel so blessed to have been welcomed into the Orsbourn family years ago. Carl and I always made a conscious effort to ensure that we collectively spent quality time with Mum and Dad. We feel blessed and fortunate to have shared many different memories with the family or when we all chose to travel together. It was always such a pleasure to hear about Mum & Dad's own adventures in life. (If anyone has yet to go on a cruise, they are certainly the ones to ask.) Most will know that they always love playing games (accompanied with nibbles of course), sitting next to their fireplace, and simply talking and laughing. I can hear Dad laughing away now ...

Dad has set such great standards in being the caring, giving, and loving man that he is. There's much sadness and grief across the family with the loss of Mike. If everyone will please, please make the extra effort to help look after Mum, Dad would want this. Simply writing Mum a card just because, surprising her with flowers or something that's a favorite of hers, arranging to pop in to give Mum company, and/or even play a game.

Dad, I cannot wait until we meet again someday, in a place with no pain, anxiety or worry. We will be at peace - together.

Your daughter-in-law,
Elicia Orsbourn xx
Posted by Janet Sheehan on March 15, 2021
Stewart and I feel honoured to have known Mike. We first met Betty and Mike in 2014 together with Chris & Steve and Chris & Clive on a Baltic cruise and became the 49ers. On other cruises, a weekend break and regular emails we have continued our friendship. We were so shocked and saddened to hear of his death. He was such a lovely man and a wonderful organiser. He will be sorely missed. We send our sympathy to Betty and all the wonderful family we have heard so much about. Our love to you all.
Posted by Michael Curtis on March 15, 2021
Dear Betty and family, Karen and myself were deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Mike. Over the thirty plus years that we have known you both, you have become firm friends. Quite why, I will never know...let me explain. Myself, Ken Gussin (dear departed) and Tony Acutt being the Essex crew had a reputation of being a bit loud….Mike was not! We also drank perhaps a tad too much…….Mike did not. We also gained a reputation with our Ladies night speeches, to be a bit near the mark…...Mike would never do that. Perhaps it’s a case of opposites attract? Whatever the reason Betty, both you and Mike will forever hold a special place in our affections and our memories. Who can ever forget that rather special rendition of Mike’s, at our Ladies night in Brentwood, (almost twenty years ago) where , guitar in hand, he gave a ‘rather unique’ rendition of Maurice Chevalier's, in a rather strained French accent……...Tank even fur leeetle gurls…………...Wonderful memories Betty
Posted by Janice and Reg Green on March 15, 2021
Although knowing Mike from the early 1970s, as a neighbour and with children of similar ages- my main memories of Mike always return to him as the well loved and respected 'Harlow Sport Centre Manager'. His excellent ways of organising a Sport's venue, enabled a versatile timetable that provided an accessibility to all ages and the whole community. Many events held with the help of Betty at his side and the pair always smiling.
Posted by David Walker on March 14, 2021
Such a shock to lose my great friend, Mike, who I’d known since 1964 when we met at Westhill College, Selly Oak, Birmingham - we were both training to be youth workers. I recall a memorable camping holiday in Spain travelling in Mike’s Triumph Spitfire car - he was great company, sincere, fun and over the years since it was always a joy to see him and Betty and to keep in touch. Mike was such a lovely person who gave so much of himself to others. I will be keeping in touch with dear Betty and send much love to her and all the family. Such a great loss to everyone, but we all gained so much from knowing him.
Posted by Stephen Davies on March 14, 2021
We met Mike and Betty on a cruise in 2014 and we hit it off immediately. Mike was a real gentleman and always a very lovely person to be with. We tried to get together as often as we could and Mike and Betty always came in for tea and biscuits (Cafe 49'ers) on their way down to Southampton when they were off cruising again unless we were going too.
We are really going to miss their visits. Mike is going to be missed by very many friends and family and we send our condolences and good wishes to Betty and her family.
Steve and Chris Davies
Posted by Linda Fawcett on March 14, 2021
So sad and shocked to hear this very sad news. We met Betty and Mike on a cruise a few years ago when they would always come across to speak to us with our disabled Daughter. We were astonished after a few nights to realise we lived around 2 miles from each other. Such a lovely kind couple and we have kept in touch ever since. Mike was such a lovely kind man and we used to hold a Marie Curie Tea Party every year which he and Betty always supported. They were also regular customers at our plant nursery. It was very clear that they adored each other and we know that Betty is going to feel lost without her soulmate. So sad and we send all our love to all of you. Such a huge loss. Always here for you Betty if you need us. All our love Linda Derek and Nicola xxx
Posted by Jackie Beattie on March 14, 2021
I am usually very adept at expressing myself but today I find I have no words valid enough to express my sincere shock and extreme sadness for the tragic loss of such a very gentle and lovely man. We hadn't really known Mike very long, it was only around 5 years ago when we moved into our lovely little house in Kessingland, but the moment we met Mike and Betty we felt like we had known them forever. Such a lovely couple. It soon became very clear, seeing them together that they were total soul mates. There is no doubt that Betty loved Mike with all her heart and Mike loved Betty with all of his. It goes without saying that Mike was Betty's rock. Such a loving, gentle and caring man, such a massive loss. So well thought of by every life he touched, he touched ours and we will miss him greatly. Betty, please remember, he will always be right there by your side, he has you and is always there to listen when you need to talk to him. Sending you all our love and sympathy at this very sad time. Betty please know we are always right here at the end of the phone day or night, Jackie and Andy x
Posted by Carole McIntosh on March 14, 2021
To Betty, Carl, Owen, Mark and families
Thinking of you all and sending our love at this very difficult time.
Our kind neighbours, always had time for a chat. One of the latest special memories of Tim and Mike, last year putting the shed up in the garden, laughng at the instructions and sharing jokes.
Much love to you all. Carole, Tim, Ryan xxx
Posted by Barry Thompson on March 14, 2021
We are going to miss our dear friend so much. A lovely caring man and also fun. We were looking forward to our next lunch out when things were back to normal. Sorry we can't be there for your final send off but we will be there in spirit and we be forever in our memory.
Posted by Kamlesh Shaunak on March 14, 2021
We are shocked and saddened to hear passing away of Mike. This is really a sad news. Words can’t describe how we feel. Still can’t believe he is not here anymore.
I was only talking with Mike and Betty over Christmas and New Year period. He told me he has been busy caring for dear Betty who is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. We very much feel for dear Betty how she will be able to manage without him.
I worked with Mike for a number of years at Redbridge Council. He believed in me, always encouraged and supported. Mike was an inspirational and thoughtful man. He looked after his staff and was a very generous, kind, helpful and caring man. Betty was always there by his side to support him and getting involved. They were a lovely and loving couple, who left a lasting impression on me, my wife Asha, daughter Karuna and son Anand. They attended our daughter’s wedding in 2006. Mike was a true gentleman and one of the nicest person we have ever met. We will certainly miss him. He will definitely be missed by his family and friends. Our thoughts are very much with dear Betty, Carl, Owen and Mark.
RIP Mike.
Kamlesh, Asha and Family
Posted by Pamela Weavers on March 14, 2021
I was saddened to hear the news that Michael had passed away.
I was friends with Michael for approximately 20 years and meet him when we were colleagues on the bench in the Magistrates Courts, he was a lovely man with a great sense of humour and always gave us sound advice when we were in the retiring room to consider our verdict on the evidence we had heard.
My Wife and I also met Michael and Betty on our numerous trips to the West End to see a show which we all thoroughly enjoyed, I am sure he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, please accept my deepest condolences to all your family at this sad time of sadness and loss of a Husband and Father.
Kindest regards
Brian Weavers JP
Posted by Lindsay Enright on March 14, 2021
So saddened to hear of your family loss. I worked with Mike in Enfield in the early 80,s. We achieved much as a team and had such fun doing so. Mike was always a caring, pro active man spreading a sense of family with the support of Betty. Such a devoted couple. Also you boys used to visit and disrupt the office (in the best possible way) on a regular basis! Fond memories to cherish. My thoughts are with you all
Lindsay
Posted by Ray Kau on March 13, 2021
Mary and I were blessed to have the opportunity to know Mike through our friendship with Carl and Elicia. We regard the times that we spent together as some off the best, due in no small part to Mike’s ever cheerful presence, thoughtfulness, humor and grace. It came as no surprise that Mike lovingly cared for Betty In recent years, as he always had with every member of his family. His dignity and sense of purpose lives on as an inspiration to all of us. He will be sorely missed.

Ray Kau and Mary Schlesing
Posted by Brendan Lally on March 13, 2021
Barry and Rosari Murphy live in Waterford, Ireland. Rosari is my cousin and a few years ago we stayed at their home for a few days with Mike and Betty. The four of them have apparently exchanged greetings each Christmas since. They were mortified to learn about Mike and like all of us paid tribute to him as "the perfect Gent"

Barry said he will always remember Mike (following a drop of the hard stuff) trying to sing in the Irish brogue and doing so well. They thought it was hillarious!

Barry and Rosari send heartfelt sadness at Mike's passing, send their love to Betty and will have Mike in their prayers
Posted by Ben Hart on March 12, 2021
Dear Betty, Carl, Mark, Owen, and family,

Sarah and I were so sorry to hear this sad news. As Carl’s friends, we would see Mike every now and again over the years, be that in London restaurants, Barcelona or the Amalfi coast. And while these meetings were relatively brief, Mike always left the warmest of impressions. He was great company, and such a good-humoured, kind, genuine, loving ‘gentle-man’.

Mike might no longer be with us, but we have no doubt these values and qualities that he brought to our world will continue to live on.

Ben & Sarah
Posted by Clive Castle on March 12, 2021
You will be greatly missed dear Mike. Our cruises and outings will not be the same without you. It was an honour and pleasure to know you. With much love Chris and Clive xx
Posted by Louise Hyams on March 12, 2021
I was so saddened to hear of Mike’s death and can only imagine what a terrible loss this will be to all his family and friends.
I have extremely fond memories of working with Mike during his time at Redbridge Council when I was Chairman of the Recreation and Amenities Committee. He was an inspirational and supportive officer and as others have mentioned the driving force behind the Redbridge Town Show and various other great events in the borough.
I will never forget Mike’s leaving do, when all the speeches were finished, everyone was left speechless, including Mike, when dear Betty launched into a wonderful musical tribute to him!
RIP, Mike and my sincere condolences to Betty and the family.
Louise Hyams
Posted by Robert and Doris Winter on March 12, 2021
We were so saddened to learn of your great loss and send heartfelt condolences to Betty and all Mike's family. It was a privilege to be a colleague of Mike who was a loyal and trusted friend. W have many, happy memories of great times in their wonderful company. Sent with our love.
Posted by Peter Gould on March 12, 2021
Dear Betty and Family,
We haven't seen Mike and Betty very often but when we did we were struck by such a very loving couple. Mike was always good company and fun to be with. He was so supportive, kind and gentle.
Love to you all,
Ann & Peter
Posted by Mark Orsbourn on March 12, 2021
Dear Dad,

Your my hero and always will be
Your loved & respected by many
Your my strength that guided me through
A true gentleman that always shone through
We’ll always remember
that special smile,
that caring heart,
that warm embrace,
you always gave us.
You being there
for Mum and us,
through good and bad times,
no matter what.
We’ll always remember
you Dad because
they’ll never be another one
to replace you in our hearts,
and the love we will always
have for you.

Our Love forever
From
Mark, Jean, Ella-Marie, Sienna, Xavier & Kiki xxxxxx
Posted by Jaclyn Monique on March 12, 2021
I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Osbourn, but I know his son Carl. Carl is a kind, intelligent, giving person, and I know his dad has something to do with that. May God bless Mr. Osbourn's family during this time with peace and love that surpasses all understanding. Rest easy Mr. Osbourn. God bless you all.
Posted by Sebastian Dubois on March 11, 2021
Always smiling, always full of humour, fun and life, my wife and I remember meeting Mike for the first time when we came over to Carl's 'parent's house' in Essex to buy Carl's Audi TT (as Carl was off to work overseas in San Diego).

I could immediately see where Carl got his sense of humour from the minute we met Mike, we hit it off immediately and nothing but laughter ensued. Many happy memories, great jokes, good times and cherished, fond memories during the fun around the Amalfi coast for Carl and Elicia's wedding and the many great moments of Carl's stag do. We will miss you dearly Mike - all the Dubois family send our deepest condolences. Wishing all Mike's family and friends love, comfort and strength, Seb
Posted by Anthony De Grove on March 11, 2021
Sheila and I first met Mike and Betty on a cruise a few years ago and they stayed in touch whenever they were at their cottage in Kessingland. 

Mike had a rare ability to make others feel special. He was a gentleman in the true sense of the word and it has been a privilege to have known him.

We send our condolences to Betty and the rest of the family.

Sheila and Tony De Grove
Posted by Jonathan O'Sullivan on March 11, 2021
Sincere condolences from the O'Sullivan family. I got to know Mike pretty well during the fun times of Carl and Elicia's wedding and especially Carl's stag do in Barcelona etc. Mike was always a gentleman, a great sport and played a really active role in making it a great stag do. Not many dads would want or be so happy to be involved! His sense of humour will be missed. Regards, Jon
Posted by Sandra and Robert Lant on March 11, 2021
Mike and Betty visited us last year and we had such a fun evening. Mike was obviously such a wonderful husband, especially with his loving care of Betty in the latter years. Fortunately they have had lots of happiness through their lives and these memories will help sustain Betty following this terrible shock.
Posted by Caroline Bernard on March 11, 2021
I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Mike who was such a Great, Inspirational, Thoughtful and super organised man. He was a fabulous manager who always looked and planned so far forward our team was always in the best position. Redbridge Show was his greatest achievement when I worked for him and Mike made every day enjoyable and I learnt so much with him at the helm and Betty was always by his side supporting and getting involved. I know Mike will be missed by his family and friends all over the world . Mike was a Great man who lived a truly fulfilled life. Sending my sincere condolences,
LVE Strength and Prayers to the family at this sad time. I will always remember Mike with the maximum fondness possible. R I E P Mike and sending all my L❤VE to dearest Betty xo xo ♥
Posted by Hannah Shine on March 11, 2021
We remember Mike and Betty well.  All those years ago, Annie Mottershead arranged the most enjoyable walks on a Sunday and we all met for a meal afterwards...... The group was called SWAG.......  and if my memory serves me right, it stood for Sawbridgeworth Wine Appreciation Group!!  It was always great fun and we thoroughly enjoyed their company.  May his beautiful soul rest in peace and please accept our deepest condolences for your loss xxx
Posted by Tom Howl on March 10, 2021
I remember how kind you were to me during the Redbridge Show, I was Chairman of the show and Mike was so hard working and everything was organised to perfection, also on the weekend of the show Betty was there helping him. I remember in 1995 when I was Deputy Mayor Betty came with us on a helicopter trip I have so many happy memories of that time Rest in Peace Mike
Posted by Brendan Lally on March 10, 2021
On a Saga holiday to New Zealand in the year 2000 when we thought we were the youngest,we were beaten by a couple from Harlow! The engaging smile of Betty on the outbound flight resulted in us joining with her and Mike in our Los Angeles stopover.We were like four schoolkids on our Disneyland visit and behaved as such.We were inseparable on the three week tour in NZ and a lifelong friendship commenced.
Holidays and mini breaks together over the years included Guernsey,Switzerland,Stratford Upon Avon,Warners Holidays as well as the hospitality we extended to each other at our homes and at Kessingland.Great times.

Mike was a true gentleman with a ready humour and who enjoyed "The Times"in the morning and a glass of red in the evening.It was always so evident that he adored Betty and his "three boys".Also the girls they brought into his life.

We always admired what he did both professionally and voluntarily including his work as a Magistrate.He was indeed a husband and father to be proud of and We are so grateful for all our treasured memories of our time with Mike and Betty.Sadly,due to the ill health of Betty,their travels were curtailed but our contact remained and Betty and family will always be in our thoughts and prayers
Posted by Carl Orsbourn on March 9, 2021
From my Father's Day post in 2020 to the best father, a son could wish for.

Sometimes you are lucky enough to know someone that just raises your standards. Not to make you feel worse about yourself but to show you how much more you can be. How hard work counts, not at all costs, and that how you treat others actually means far more than anything else.

I have been lucky to have that someone, throughout my entire life. A beacon of fortitude, a gentleman of poise and class, and someone who sets the standard higher than most can only dream to reach.

The permanence of a father’s love and care. I know we’re not all as lucky to have this kind of love and support in our lives, either ever or currently, but we can always learn from others and their influence. My father did this through the people he taught, the many thousands he managed, and the communities and charities that he supported.

He sets the standard and embodies one of my favorite quotations by Louisa May Alcott:

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

Watch the video here:

https://medium.com/@Carlorsbourn/a-man-who-sets-the-standard-76ff1a415517

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Pauline Groves on March 25, 2021
We met you and Mike at your First Ladies Night. This was our first Masonic function, we knew very few people and didn’t know what to expect. However you both made a point of making us feel so welcome and we have valued your friendship ever since.

Later I become a Mason and during my years of learning the craft Mike was the person who was always there for help,guidance, support and encouragement, and I know that many other brothers felt the same. Mike was a real gentleman and will be sorely missed.

Norman & Pauline Groves
Posted by Carl Orsbourn on March 17, 2021
Here are the words that I spoke during Dad's funeral service earlier this week.

No son ever wants to be stood at a moment like this, at a time of deep sorrow and shock. Dad was always the one that offered to be the shoulders of responsibility to take on such a task.

But just as life has its fleeting moments, death too can be just as flashing in its occurrence but so long in its effect on those left behind. And so, it is in these moments that it is important to reflect and to celebrate Dad and to remind ourselves how important life is to embrace and cherish each and every moment we have together. Dad celebrated life in every which way he could. He lived a full life, with a loving wife, three amazing sons, and five adorable grandchildren that filled him with pride.

When Dad’s own father passed away, when he was still a young boy, he inherited a huge burden of responsibility upon his shoulders. He dealt with his own grief through sports. Something he particularly excelled in – pretty much all the way through his life – much to his son’s disgruntlement whenever we partook. His love of rugby and Athletics, in particular, played a big role in his earlier years where he reached a high level of capability and raced alongside Olympic greats such as Herb Elliott. But after his running shoes were put aside, he found joy in competitive moments during family get-togethers. Whether we were playing bowls in the garden family competition in the summer or pin the tail on the donkey during a Christmas get-together. Or he would demonstrate his graceful moves through dancing with friends in black tie suits and glamorous ball-room attire. Times and memories that may seem long ago to us now, still are rich and vivid in their impact to all of us in our fond memories of Dad. We must hold on to those.

My Dad was my hero. To many of us he was our hero. To some, he was a leader, a calm authoritative voice who demonstrated an abundance of integrity and poise with each and every interaction. He served his community throughout his life. From leading the UK’s first sport & leisure centre in Harlow, through to his leadership roles in local government at both the London Borough of Enfield and later, Redbridge. There he held many responsibilities but by far the one that tested him the most was running events with tens of thousands of people listening to the likes of James Brown singing at one of his popular Redbridge Show concerts.

To others, he was not attributed a role, but he was seen more as of a voice of reason, an orator that could capture a room with a kindness that always showed he cares; and he was a teacher that always spared time to impart his knowledge – especially outside the classroom. In his later years, he ran his own business to share that wisdom, and through City & Guilds inspect the quality of teaching at learning institutions across the country. He also taught classes himself and shared a plethora of business and leadership skills. His sound reasoning capabilities helped him become a successful magistrate to demonstrate his apt ability to judge fairly but firmly. Dad’s wisdom wasn’t born from a god-given gift. It came from sacrifice and hard work, with a drive to give much more than he ever received. And of course, most recently, he gave up so much of his time, without regret nor complaint, to be Mum’s carer as she battles Parkinson’s.

To me, Dad could be described in so many ways but he has lived a full and rich life – a life that has touched so many people in so many amazing ways, he truly has set the standard of how to live a good and wholesome life.
I feel so blessed and humbled to have had someone like my father to be my Dad. To have all that time with him is such a gift that my family and I have each been bestowed. As I have grown older, I became more and more amazed by how special Dad truly was. But even for the young amongst us, you could never miss how immense his sense of fun, his love for his children, and grandchildren warmed his soft centre and kind-spirited heart.

Dad was so very content with his life. He traveled to scores and scores of countries, made friends in every country he visited, listened calmly, spoke softly, and always treated people with respect.

Dad gave his time to everyone, to always support and care – that is unless there was an England Rugby game on and in those moments, there could be a volcano erupting outside and he wouldn’t budge.

Our website which memorializes Dad is going to be a wonderful place for each of us to share our stories and memories of him. I’d encourage each of you to put your own words down on it – not just for us as we come to terms with someone that we will miss so very very much but as someone that we will celebrate, aspire to be more like, and ask ourselves in times of pain or struggle, ‘what would Dad, Grandad, Uncle Mike, Mike do in a situation like this? Those thoughts will often help us make the right decision.

And so now, our minds turn to Mum, Betty – his most dear wife who made a great man, greater. Who brought him out of his shell, who encouraged him to try new things, and challenged his, let’s be honest, stubborn ways. Mum is coping with a huge void in her life but in her own selfless ways, she’s demonstrating the strength to carry on, to strive forward, and to live a happy life. Dad would want that for you Mum. And each of us, here today, and all around the world listening in, will be there for you. A simple call, a letter, a card, and of course once COVID allays, plenty of hugs and time together.

We will get through this. Dad expects it of us and we owe this fine gentleman a promise. A promise to look out for Mum, for each other and to take the steps he took in his life with as much impact and kindness as he took in his own.

We will miss you Dad. We love you – forever.
Posted by Jean Orsbourn on March 17, 2021

Dear Mike,

There are so many things I want to write and say - it still feels so surreal.

Thanks for always being there for my family

Being an amazing father-in-law

For all your wisdom, time, advice, and love

You made our times together so much fun

I have known you for more than half my life, to be exact 26 years. I would often joke that I was your favourite daughter in law, and he would reply “ Jean your my only daughter in law” (at the time).

We always had this little saying between us, when it was time to say goodbye. I would say see you later, and Mike would always reply “no Jean I will see you soon......”

Mike had a very dry sense of humour, which our son Xavier has inherited from his Grandad.
He loved all his grandchildren and loved them all equally.
Mike had the most amazing bond with Mark, they shared so many interests, the time they renovated Marks boat -I would pop down and make sure they had plenty of food and drink to keep them going all day!
Their love of rugby - Mike would change plans or be fixated to the television - he loved his rugby.
In recent years, Mark joined his Dad as a Mason. Mike was extremely proud of Mark and this was evident for all to see.
We’ve been so lucky to have the love and help/support that the Masons have given us over the pass 2 weeks.
Mike was truly a great man, and was loved by many. Especially by us five.
He will be forever in our hearts - From your loving daughter in law Jean xxxxx
Recent stories

The stag weekend

Shared by Andy Smith on March 15, 2021
Myself and Mark have been best friends for many years and Mike and Betty have always been the most genuine and friendly couple towards me through all those years, always happy and welcoming whenever we met, Lovely people.

My favourite memory of Mike is of Mark's stag weekend in Brussels. Mike was the life and soul of the weekend joining in with all the celebrations and festivities and along with Mark's brother Carl helped make the weekend very special for Mark and us all.
We all stayed in a youth hostel which locked their doors at 1am, of course being a stag weekend this was far too early to stop the party. Mike offered to go back early so he could be on the inside to unlock the door when we returned. I'll always remember him opening the door and sneaking all us very inebriated loud lads back into the hostel at 4 in the morning. He was the one laughing though at 10am when we all had to be out with the biggest hangovers.  Happy times!

We will all miss you very much Mike .

Cherished Memories Made Across the Pond

Shared by Elicia Orsbourn on March 13, 2021
~ Written by Felicia Kraft, Elicia Orsbourn's Mom in PA, USA ~

I met Betty and Mike on a visit to the United States. They came over for Christmas with Carl and Elicia from England. It was a magical trip to Pennsylvania with plenty of snow and Christmas festivities. Betty was so gracious, beautiful, and the true meaning of a lady to me. Mike was so kind, soft-spoken, and such a gentleman. Our children were planning a future together. Christmas traditions began and they eagerly celebrated with the family. We spent our time reminiscing with my Mom and family over tea and memories of Europe. We were family from that point on. We met again in Italy for Elicia & Carl's beautiful wedding. I will always remember the love that we all shared that day and memories for a lifetime. I wish had more time to spend with Betty and Mike. Mike, you have touched so many lives. Thank you for being Elicia's Mom & Dad through the years in London and loving her. I have been blessed to have the honor of knowing and loving Betty and Mike. 

Mike, you will live in our hearts forever. 

Love,
Felicia Kraft

The 49ers

Shared by Clive Castle on March 12, 2021
Mike was a true gentleman and one of the nicest persons we have ever met,  which was on a cruise, some years ago, when 8 of us, Mike, Betty, Janet, Stewart, Chris, Steve, Clive and me (Chris) sat on the same table (no 49, hence our title), and hit it off immediately. Ever since that cruise, to The Black Sea in 2014,we have always tried to book the same cruises, and have had many good times and laughs together. Even if a year may have passed since we last saw one another, the first thing Mike always did was ask how you were doing, how are the family etc. never forgetting names and matters discussed the last time we met. On our cruises together, always sitting on the same table and imbibing in one or two, or more, gins and tonics after dinner were the highlights of many a get together. The last time we managed a full get together was due to Mike's organisational skills in arranging a long weekend at Warner's Thorsby Hall, which was, as always, full of fun and laughter, and which each of us will remember with love. We will, of course, stay in touch with our lovely Betty but, in the meantime, rest well dear friend. Chris and Clive xx