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Aldeburgh: Top baker remembered by all for winning smile

10:30 01 September 2014

Master baker John Smith, from Aldeburgh, who has died aged 68

Master baker John Smith, from Aldeburgh, who has died aged 68

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A master baker whose remarkable positivity defied illness has been remembered as a “marvellous man” with an enduring smile.

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Master baker John Smith, from Aldeburgh, who has died aged 68 Master baker John Smith, from Aldeburgh, who has died aged 68

John Smith’s kind nature and flair for baking were well known in Aldeburgh, where he took over the running of his father’s shop along with his brother in the late 1960s.

He retired in 2006, aged 60, but was diagnosed with a brain tumour three years later and given just 18 months to live.

Undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy, he continued to battle the disease, but his health sadly deteriorated last Christmas and he died, aged 68, on August 20, surrounded by family at his home in Aldeburgh.

It was at Smith’s Bakery that he met his wife of almost 50 years, Pam, who was also working in the High Street shop.

The couple were married in 1967 by Mr Smith’s father, who had left the family business in the hands of his sons to become a minister at Aldeburgh Baptist Church.

Mrs Smith said: “He was a marvellous man. He never complained after being diagnosed. He was such a positive person and always had been until things got worse at Christmas.”

Despite the decline in his condition, Mr Smith was still making bread at home up until February this year. A month before his death, he decided to leave the hospice in which he was staying and move back into the family home, where he was nursed by Marie Curie Cancer Care – the charity chosen by the Smith family to support with donations in Mr Smith’s memory.

Mrs Smith said: “They were absolutely wonderful. He wanted to come home and we couldn’t have managed without them.”

Mrs Smith has received numerous messages of support from friends and former colleagues of her husband, who have all recognised his infectious character as a quality that will be remembered long after his death.

She said: “He always had a smile – that’s one thing that people have said more than anything in the cards they have sent to me.

“He didn’t have a bad bone in his body. I know that gets said a lot about people but it was true.”

A celebration of Mr Smith’s life is to be held at Aldeburgh Baptist Chapel from 11.30am tomorrow.

He is survived by his wife Pam, son Kevin, daughter Karen, and three granddaughters, Emily, Megan and Charlize, who also knew him as much-loved No-no.

Donations can be made to Marie Curie Cancer Care via Tony Brown’s Funeral Service, Saxmundham, IP17 1EH.

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