Funeral for the man everyone called their friend

THE customers he called his friends turned out in force to wave off Rawmarsh ‘institution’ Jack Staves for the final time on Monday.

St Mary’s Parish Church at Rawmarsh was packed for the funeral service of 90-year old greengrocer Mr Staves, who ran a doorstep delivery service up to a few days before his death on May 14.

His devastated family made a display of photographs and memorabilia for mourners on Monday - including a South Yorkshire Times article when Mr Staves celebrated his eighty-third birthday.

Facebook tributes poured in for the man who took over his business from his father in 1946 then was joined by his son John. They sold and delivered to homes all around the area from their red van with its distinctive number plate.

Comments on local websites included: “The guy is a legend and will be fondly remembered and missed by many,” and “it brings a tear to my eye to be informed of the death of a Rawmarsh institution.” Another said: “ If ever there was a grafter it was Jack, up at the crack of dawn and home after dark. Rest in peace mate.”

It is too painful for the family to talk about their loss, but they have received hundreds of tributes. Mr Staves leaves five children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Donations have been made to the British Heart Foundation