Hollesley: Family tribute to ‘fun-loving’ builder killed in wall collapse

THE loving family of a builder who died along with one of his colleagues when a wall collapsed have paid glowing tribute to a devoted husband and father.

Kevin Ruffles was described as a “fun-loving” man with a “jolly” sense of humour who worked hard to provide for his wife and three children.

The 57-year-old, of Parsons Hill, Hollesley, was killed along with Matthew Skeet, 19, of Orchard Close, Melton, when part of a barn conversion collapsed at a site in Church Road, Worlingworth, near Framlingham, on October 21.

Last night Mr Ruffles’ wife, Julie, and children, Victoria, Tom and Amy, released a statement paying warm tribute to a “humble Suffolk man” who enjoyed the “simple pleasures in life”.

It said: “With a fun-loving, jolly sense of humour, he would do anything for anyone.

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“He was a fantastically social man who loved to chat and have a laugh with people.

“The warmth and kindness which he carried was always demonstrated in his actions as he was always so willing to lend a helping hand.”

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Mr Ruffles, who grew up in Hasketon, met his wife in Hollesley in 1969 and the couple – who recently celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary – tied the knot a year later.

He had a great passion for the building industry and also enjoyed walking, cycling and swimming.

He had recently joined Weight Watchers and managed to lose an impressive seven stones.

He also had a love of travel and visited his eldest daughter, who lives in Australia, as often as he could.

In later life he managed to fulfil a life-long dream when he became publican of The Shepherd and Dog pub in Hollesley.

The family statement continued: “Kevin was a humble Suffolk man who really did enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

“As a man with traditional and honest values he would give anybody a chance when they needed it.

“Kevin will be remembered as a compassionate, hard-working, caring, often boisterous and jolly character who saw good in everyone.

“He will be missed and treasured as a devoted family man and friend to all of those whose lives he touched.”

The accident is being investigated by Suffolk police and the Health and Safety Executive.

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