Tribute to Exmothian Ron who ‘touched many lives’

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 May 2020

Ron Worsley. Picture: Mark Worsley

Ron Worsley. Picture: Mark Worsley


A tribute has been paid to a well-known Exmouth man who ‘touched many lives’.

A tribute has been paid to Ron Worsley. Picture: Mark WorsleyA tribute has been paid to Ron Worsley. Picture: Mark Worsley

Ron Worsley died peacefully on Sunday (April 24) at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Born in the colonies area of Exmouth in 1932, Vernon Ronald Mervyn Worsley was the youngest child of Vernon and Nellie Worsley, younger brother of Albert and Muriel.

In 1943, Ron had the first of many lucky escapes, when he was late for his bus home, only to find a German bomb had hit the very bus queue he would have been standing in.

Seven years later, Ron completed his National Service at RAF Cardington and stayed for a number of years before a surgical operation resulted in him being returned home.

Back in Exmouth, he soon got involved in the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs as leader at Tower Street Methodist Church and Withycombe Methodist Church.

He joined the 1st Exmouth Boys’ Brigade and went on to complete 65 years of service.

The family added: “It is as the captain of the 1st Exmouth Boys’ Brigade where Ron’s patience, positivity and encouragement touched so many lives and shaped many young people’s outlook on life.

“Ron’s smile, wit and zest for life will be sadly missed by many people.”

It was at Tower Street that Ron charmed Exmouth girl Joan Smallacombe and the couple were married in November 1961.

A spokesman for the family said: “A love affair that became an inseparable lifelong partnership.

“Paul, Beverley and Mark and Adam, Hayley, Charlotte, Jonathan, Katie and Grace completed Ron’s family and he was incredibly proud of his children and grandchildren.”

Ron trained as a French polisher and made coffins for Blackmores, and worked for Waltons in Exeter and Exmouth, and Debenhams in Exeter.

He was a keen footballer but also played volleyball, squash and, in retirement, played bowls for Phear Park Bowling Club.

In recent years Ron, with Joan, could be seen regularly at the Exmouth Pavilion and as front of house managers for Centre Stage and Exmouth Musical Theatre Company.

Ron will have a private funeral, but a celebration of his life will take place when the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

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