OBITUARY: Ronald Richard Bettell-Higgins

A service of thanksgiving for the life of Ronald Richard Bettell-Higgins was held at Lincoln Crematorium on April 24, officiated by Revd Mark Holden.

Ronald, fondly know as Ron, passed away on April 7 at Grimsby Hospital, aged 82.

A widower, he had lived with his daughter and son-in-law in Wragby for the last eight years. Born in East London on May 17 1931, he was the eldest child of the late Dick and Eva.

He was three when his brother Lenny was born but sadly died at 20 months. Fred, Evelyn and Les followed on with Ron being the eldest by six years so was always looked upon as the ‘older brother’.

Growing up mostly in East London, some time was spent in Hutton, Essex, during the war years From school reports, Ron was an average scholar, often in very large classes of up to 46 pupils.

Not being especially ambitious, he left school at 16 and initially joined the electricity board as an apprentice.

He had a variety of jobs over the years. In 1954, he joined the Metropolitan Police where he stayed for 18 months.

At 18, he joined the Navy to do his National Service and that was a time in his life he really enjoyed.

Although he didn’t go to sea, his love and interest in all things Naval - and seagoing - continued throughout his life.

Set up on a blind date by his friend, he was introduce to Patricia who became his wife in 1955 and the couple set up home in Clapham, South London.

They had a daughter Rosalind and son Richard and in 1976, they moved from Clapham to

Hackbridge in Surrey,

In 1989, they became grandparents when Richard and Helen had Joe and, two years later, Dan. Rosalind remarried and her parents acquired two step-grandsons.

Ron and Patricia loved having their family close by taking a great interest in all that they

were doing.

In 2002, following a period of ill health, they moved in with Rosalind and her husband Doug in Ewell.

In 2006, for various reasons, they all moved to Wragby and Ron relished the quiet of living in the countryside. He was always happy when he had his books and “baccy”!

Sadly, in October 2011, Patricia died and then the following June, Les - his brother - passed away.

Ron’s own health deteriorated and following a three month stay in Louth Hospital, it became apparent that he wouldn’t be able to return to home so he was transferred to Nettleton Manor Nursing Home where he was very well looked after.

Ron is now survived by his daughter Rosalind, son Richard, grandsons Joe and Dan Bettell-Higgins and step grandsons David and Matthew Wiltshire.

Family mourners at the funeral were: Rosalind and Doug Wiltshire – daughter and son-in-law; Richard and Helen Bettell-Higgins – son and daughter-in-law; Joe and Dan Bettell-Higgins –

grandsons; David and Katie Wiltshire – Step grandson and wife; Fred and Janet Bettell-Higgins – brother and wife; Evelyn & Pete Gibson – sister and husband; Mavis Wrightson – sister-in-law; Bob & Christine Coombs – brother-in-law and wife; Alan & Sheila Gibson – nephew and wife; Liz & Andy Hawley – niece and husband; Janet Bettell-Higgins – sister-in-law; Darren & Elaine Higgins – nephew and wife; Robert Coombs – nephew; Andy Hawley and Ellen – great nephew and fiancée.

Other mourners: Ken Argent; Pat & John Marchant; Fred & Margaret Robinson; Margaret Patch;

Natalie Olbertz – representing Nettleton Manor Nursing Home; Andrea Ward – also representing

Brenda Bodily and Gill Garrill.

Funeral arrangements were made by J Marshall Funeral Directors of Market Rasen.