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Fond farewell to community hero
1:00pm Friday 30th August 2013 in News
EXTRAORDINARY MAN: Reg Box performed at many care homes in the area, including Regent Care Home in Worcester in October 2011. He is pictured with resident Joyce Hunter. Tributes have been pouring in after his death on Saturday.
TRIBUTES have been paid this week to fundraiser and community hero Reg Box, who died on Saturday.
Mr Box was a frequent visitor to care homes around Malvern, where he would entertain residents with old-time songs while wearing his trademark hat and waistcoat.
His efforts at these visits, as well as regular bingo evenings and a host of other fund-raising events, saw him raise more than £120,000 for the Midland Air Ambulance over the last 17 years.
A keen football fan, he was also president of the Mercian Festival Junior Football League, with teams playing for the Reg Box Trophy every year, presented by the man himself for the last time on May 5.
Mr Box, of Brook Farm Drive, passed away peacefully at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, his son Nigel said. He had celebrated his 95th birthday in July.
Mr Box’s efforts saw him earn an award from the air ambulance in 2011, confirming himas the charity’s longest-serving fundraiser, while just a few months earlier he had been the recipient of a Community Hero award from your Malvern Gazette.
“He was still active until very recently and in the end he went quickly and painlessly, as he would have wanted,” said his son.
“We will long treasure our fond memories of a colourful life. He will be missed not only by us but by all whose hearts he touched.”
Anne Newell, fundraising manager for the air ambulance, said: “Words can’t express our gratitude to Reg for his hard work over the years.
“He kept going long after most people would have reckoned they’d done their bit and put their feet up. We will always be grateful to him and he will be sadly missed.”
As well as being known for his charity work, Mr Box was a long-standing supporter of Malvern Town Football Club, serving as president for a number of years.
Margaret Scott from the club said: “Mr Box was a pillar of strength in the club, and continued to use the club as the venue for his air ambulance bingo sessions.
“He was always friendly, helpful and cheerful, and he will be missed by everyone here.”
George Silverman, secretary of the Mercian Festival Junior Football League, knew Mr Box for about 15 years.
“I had a lot of respect for the guy because he wasn’t just a talker, he was ‘doer’,” he said. “I never knew him to miss a final and he presented the cup every year.
“Genuinely, it was a privilege to have him as our president.”
A funeral service will be heldat Worcester Crematorium on Thursday at 2pm.
Family flowers only are requested, and donations in Mr Box’s memory can be made to the air ambulance via Hollands Funeral Service.
The family is asking that those attending should not wear black, with lightcoloured clothing or bright ties preferred.
Carl Taylor paid tribute on Facebook. He said: “That’s sad. He used to do bingo at my parents’ old pub, The Oak and always sang too. Very nice old boy.”
Writing on our website, malverngazette.co.uk, the user Malvernie wrote: “Deepest sympathy to all Reg’s family. He was an extraordinary man who will be missed by all.”
* Did you know Reg? If you would like to leave a tribute you can do so at malverngazette.co.uk.
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