A KEEN gardener, who lived most of his life in the Ryde area, Raymond George Charles Phipps, has died aged 81.
Mr Phipps was born at Alfred Street, Ryde, one of five children. He was educated at Green Street and Upper Grade (St John’s Road) schools.
He spent part of his childhood at Little Duxmore Farm, near Havenstreet, where he drove a tractor from a young age and subsequently became a dairyman.
His love of animals continued throughout his life and he kept dogs and a cat over many years.
After National Service, where he experienced first-hand the Suez crisis, he made full use of his training on military vehicles, to drive lorries for Gubbins and Ball, Newport, and in 1964 joined Southern Vectis as a bus driver.
He also worked for the City of Oxford motor services.
He married his first wife, Jean Adams, and the couple had three children, David, Caroline and Jeannette. The couple’s marriage ended and Mr Phipps returned to the IW.
The remainder of his bus driving career from 1975 until retirement in 2000 was spent with Southern Vectis, based in Ryde.
He enjoyed dancing and met his second wife, Mary, at a dance. They married at the IW Register Office in 1976 and lived in Binstead, where Mr Phipps enjoyed growing roses.
He also had a keen interest in railways, including the IW Steam Railway at Havenstreet.
His funeral service took place on Friday, December 15, at Holy Cross Church, Binstead, followed by interment at Binstead Cemetery.
He leaves his wife, a sister, a brother, his children and a step-daughter.