Tributes paid to tireless and dedicated Exmouth charity ace

06:55 29 January 2014

Stephen Aaron helping out on an Oxfam charity stall in Exmouth in June 2013. The tireless and dedicated volunteer died in late November. His funeral was held in Exmouth earlier this month. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 5457-26-13AW

Stephen Aaron helping out on an Oxfam charity stall in Exmouth in June 2013. The tireless and dedicated volunteer died in late November. His funeral was held in Exmouth earlier this month. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 5457-26-13AW

Archant

HEARTFELT tributes have been pouring in from the Exmouth community for a 41-year-old unemployed man ‘with a heart of gold’ who died suddenly in his sleep last November from a brain haemorrhage.

Stephen Aaron – described as ‘somebody who lots of people befriended, but didn’t have many friends’ – was a tireless and dedicated volunteer, who worked quietly behind the scenes with many of Exmouth’s charities and community groups.

At his funeral service, held earlier this month at Exmouth’s Glenorchy Church, nearly 100 people from all walks of the town’s life were surprised to learn that Stephen was the common link between them all.

As well as volunteering at the Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton Oxfam shops, Stephen helped out at the Open Door Centre, the Community Larder, the Rotary Club, Transition Town Exmouth, Exmouth Town Council events – including the Exmouth Festival – the Blackmore Theatre and the Exmouth Shanty Men. He also attended the weekly Glenorchy Work Club, later becoming a regular at the Glenorchy Church.

Away from his volunteering, Stephen enjoyed a drink at The Phoenix where he was noted as a good darts player. Regulars described him as a man ‘with a heart of gold’ who will be sadly missed.

The tributes were led by the Reverend Robert Jennings, of Exmouth’s Glenorchy Church, who conducted Stephen’s funeral.

“Lots of people in Exmouth knew Stephen and have been affected by his death,” said Robert. “He was a bit of an odd character, but got under your skin. He was somebody who lots of people befriended, but didn’t have many friends.”

“I don’t think any of us believed how many people turned up in the church and how much he’d been involved in so many different things in the town,” said former Exmouth town clerk John Wokersien.

“He’d help with Rotary events such as the Kite Festival. He’d turn up and do odd jobs and make himself useful.

“He did the same for the Shanty Men. He’d come along to our gigs, help with getting our stage together, fetching and carrying materials.”

“Stephen was everywhere in town, and at so many events,” said Exmouth arts manager Carla Hiley. “He was so sweet and supportive, but in a quiet, understated way. Every morning at the festival, he’d have a cup of tea waiting for me.”

“Stephen was always ready to help people and was there when you needed help,” said Noel Harrower from Transition Town Exmouth. “We were staggered by the number of people who attended his funeral.”

Born in Dartmouth in 1972, Stephen grew up in London. As a child he became ill with meningitis. Possibly as a result of the illness, Stephen had learning and behavioural difficulties. After school he drifted from job to job. He returned to Devon to study farming at Bicton College. Unable to find agricultural work, he stayed in the area, eventually moving to Exmouth. He died on November 27, 2013.

“There was shock and surprise at the news of Stephen’s death,” said Robert Jennings. “He leaves a big hole in the Exmouth community.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:30
Kittleham orchard

Residents spent a day tending to the Littleham Community Orchard.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Ten year old Sophia Rehbock is pictured in her garden at Rosehill which was one of the open gardens for Hospiscare in Budleigh Salterton over the weekend. Ref exb 2519-27-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

The organisers of the Budleigh Open Gardens event for Hospiscare have hailed it as a success.

Read more
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Waltons

For more than 60 years, the iconic Walton’s department store was Exmouth’s answer to Grace Brothers in the sitcom Are you Being Served, complete with haberdashery and lingerie departments, menswear and ladieswear, a huge toy department and perfumery.

Read more
Saturday, July 4, 2015
A former contestant on The Voice Adam Isaac entertains the crowds at the party to celebrate 20 years of the Devon Air Ambulance at Darts Farm on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 4029-35-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

A Devon singer and TV star has been added to the bill at an Exmouth charity’s first-ever fundraising ball.

Read more
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Jef Pirie who runs the Littleham and High Street launderettes wrote a one act play entitled 'I'd Like to Believe in Angels' which won the Exmouth One Act Play Festival recently. Ref exe 1733-25-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An Exmouth playwright is looking to get his work published after he won two awards at a recent drama festival.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
HM Coastguard

A section of Exmouth beach was cordoned off by the coastguard after a two-metre-wide hole appeared in the sand.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
Exeter Road school's sports day. Ref exe 9472-26-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Children at Exeter Road Primary School enjoyed the sunshine as they competed in the school’s annual sports day.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
Exmouth Community College prom night 2015. Ref exe 1521-27-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

ECC Year 11 leavers step out in style

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat

A man had to be rescued by the RNLI off the coast of Exmouth after his boat was swept out to sea.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
A grass verge on Marine Way. Ref exe 9844-27-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

‘Ridiculous’ overgrown grass in Exmouth could be cut, with town hall chiefs considering stepping in to improve the appearance of the town.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder