Popular Tydd St Mary man dies months after much loved wife

Ralph Jackson
Ralph Jackson
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A much-loved former Tydd St Mary couple are “in heaven together” just four months after they were tragically parted.

A much-loved former Tydd St Mary couple are “in heaven together” just four months after they were tragically parted.

I had two parents who worshipped their grandchildren, enjoyed life and did everything together

Christine Jackson died in May at the age of 71, only weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

Heartbroken husband of 49 years Ralph (73) described her as “my champion” when we spoke to him at their new home in Long Sutton, where they had downsized to only months before in the hope of enjoying life together to the full.

But on Saturday, he died suddenly after returning from a fishing holiday with his son, Neal, daughter-in-law Laura and two grandchildren Abby (nine) and Charlie (11) at Westwood Lakes in Wyberton.

Neal said: “It’s been such a shock. We had expected it with mum, but we had no idea with dad.

“He loved fishing and we’d just got back off holiday.

“I had two parents who worshipped their grandchildren, enjoyed life and did everything together.

“They were like soulmates. Not one day did they do something on their own. I’d like to think they are together again in heaven.

”My father was someone to look up to and a good role model. He would do anything for anybody and make them feel part of the family.

“He had many friends and will be sadly missed, especially by his grandchildren.”

Born in Walpole St Andrew, Ralph had spent most of his life in Tydd St Mary after moving there when he married Christine, who became a popular dinner lady, caretaker and governor at the village school.

He spent his early years selling tobacco and sweets for Nurdin and Peacock and Imperial Tobacco.

Later he moved into packaging, selling toilet rolls, kitchen rolls and tissues for Kimberly Clark and Bowater and Scott for several years.

Finally, he worked for Alfred Harrold Containers Ltd of Wisbech, selling potato sacks, onion nets and boxes, which he designed for his customers. He continued working three days a week after retirement.

A keen sportsman, he started out playing football for Wisbech Town at the age of 18.

He fished for Tydd Gote Angling Club, becoming its chairman.

Ralph also shared his wife’s love of bowling, playing together for North Cambs Bowling Association in league matches and at county level. He became president of North Cambs in his final year before stepping down.

His popularity has been evident in the number of cards of condolence the family has received.

Neal said: “We got stacks when mum died and now we are going through it again. There were both such popular people.”