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John Everest Watts (1935 - 2019)

The Kibworth Chronicle would like to pay tribute to John Everest Watts whom we remember with grateful affection.

John was a volunteer driver who did the print run on Chronicle distribution day, collecting printed copies from Willdays, our publishers, and bringing them to Kibworth Grammar School hall. He was a very reliable stalwart who did this job for a number of years, never breaking the speed limit. This good habit came from his years as a long distance lorry driver.

Whilst Mavis, his wife, stayed at home looking after the family, John drove the length and breadth of the country, firstly for Thorn Lighting and then for Federated. This company acknowledged his commitment when he retired, by treating him and Mavis to a weekend in London and a surprise party at The Angel Hotel.

Though he worked hard John enjoyed his leisure time taking turns with Mavis to choose the destination for their weekend outings.

They also loved holidays in Benidorm but were also more adventurous, travelling to Australia twice and cruising both the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

John and Mavis celebrated not only their silver and gold wedding anniversaries but also their diamond. This was great fun as guests dressed up as Disney characters. John came as a penguin and Mavis as Minnie Mouse. Such fun! We can see here hints of the character of this much loved man, and extracts from his eulogy confirm his fun and positivity.

“How do we describe John? Well he was the life and soul of the party. He had a view on everything including Brexit and although not always politically correct was happy to share his opinions!! He was a joker. The broad grin and twinkle in his eye providing endearing memories for those who loved him. He was a hard worker who always put his family first. His wife Mavis, children Les, Diana and the late Nicky, son and daughter in law Nigel and Pim, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He had an eclectic taste in music and was a talker!

For if there was one thing you will all be aware of it is that John loved to chat and he could talk for hours and frequently did. He wasn’t malicious however, just inquisitive, even the medical professionals in hospital had to ask him to shut up so they could monitor his breathing!

His death came as a shock to many, not least his family, who had thought John was on the road to recovery. Their last memories are of him sitting up in bed with a smile on his face and this is how I’m sure he would like to be remembered.

Soul of a trucker

The ever present sound of a diesel,
going through its gears
Was the steady beat and constant rhythm, John knew for many a year
It was the lullaby that late at night,
his mind still longed to hear
For he could still see those highways, with his inner eye
He couldn’t forget the visions of those unpolluted skies
He could still feel the wind, and hear its tender sighs
Those memories stayed inside and lingered until the day he died,
they were part of what he was made of, they forged into his soul,
they came from years of truckin’, and they’re what made him whole
Adapted Annette Keller

Not many people retire still loving the job they have done for years. John’s love of his job is reflected in the poem ‘Soul of a trucker’.

Les Watts
Issue 413
June 2019

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