Obituary: Mr Leslie Coxhead

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Mr Leslie Coxhead, of Swadales Close, Great Gonerby, has died in Newton House Nursing Home, Barrowby Road, Grantham. He was 90.

He was born on February 25, 1923 in Grantham, the youngest of four children of Ethelbert Charles and Kathleen Mary Coxhead. The family, including his siblings Phillip, Bert and Kay, lived at 45 Victoria Street, Grantham, and his childhood was a happy one.

He attended Huntingtower Road Infant School, Spitalgate Junior School and the Boys’ Central School before leaving school at the age of 14 to start work at Ruston and Hornsby.

On November 1, 1939, at the age of 16, he joined BMARC as an apprentice.

In 1943 he volunteered for the war effort and was called up to His Majesty’s Fleet Air Arm Service and served on several aircraft carriers as a mechanic first class in various Commonwealth countries and the Far East.

It was while he was on shore leave at Ford, in Sussex, that he met his future wife Floss, and they were married in September 1946 after his demobilisation.

On his return to civilian life, Mr Coxhead returned to work at BMARC for a brief spell before taking up employment with A. V. Roe, an aircraft company which had work in the Grantham area.

In 1948 he rejoined BMARC as an inspector and he retired from the company on June 28, 1985.

After he married Floss they lived at Kipling Close, Grantham from 1948. It was here that there two children Terry and Dianne were born and from where they were to live a happy and active family life.

Mr Coxhead enjoyed all sports from an early age, playing football and cricket for his school. He was also a keen boy scout.

In his teenage years he was a keen cyclist and would cycle off to the Peak District with his brother Phil and groups of friends. He played football for BMARC and was a well-known cricketer for both BMARC and Belton Park Cricket Clubs, representing the latter from 1949 to 1974.

On retirement from cricket he took up golf and joined Belton Park Golf Club, managing to keep playing right up to his 86th year. He enjoyed a game of snooker and was a regular “Friday nighter” at Gonerby Working Men’s Club for many years.

Mr Coxhead also enjoyed rambling, gardening and ballroom dancing. He was a founder member of BMARC rambling club and, along with his wife Floss, he participated in many of their local and more distant excursions.

He tended his allotment for many years and continued to grow vegetables in his own garden right up to his 89th year.

In 1986 he and his wife moved to their bungalow in Swadales Close, Great Gonerby and enjoyed many happy retirement years. After a long and active life he was affected by dementia which gradually worsened, meaning that he passed the last nine months of his life in the Brownlow Unit at Newton House Nursing Home.

A Grantham lad all his life, he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

The funeral service was held at Grantham Crematorium Chapel.

Family mourners included: Foss Coxhead, Terry Coxhead, Marilyn Coxhead, Dianne Callaghan, Neil Coxhead, Emma Forde, Jonathon Callaghan and Louise Frost.

Other mourners included: Brenda Oliver, Janet Bennett, David and Kate Blankley, Val Gwynne, Sharon Branston, John Bradley, Pete and Ann Hoyes, Roger Wakerley, Ken Bryan, Mike and Marilyn Bacon, Rod Rawson, Sarah Chimbiko, Patsy and Peter Ebb, Nigel Richardson, Evelyn Richardson, Hilda Parnham, Helen Coupland, Sarah Metcalfe, Jess Butcher, Bessie Gisbourne, Tammy Eldred, Diana Shields, Beryl Poucher, Michael and Gillian Stevens, Cara Coxhead, Kate Hamilton, Pat and David Cumming, Vera Ward, and Shirley Williams.

Funeral arrangements were by Robert Holland, St Catherine’s Road, Grantham.

Donations were received for the Alzheimer’s Society.