Chamber man dies after illness

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A DEDICATED business-man, who ‘cared deeply for the future of West Suffolk,’ has died at the age of 67.

John Baker was a director at Thurston Building Supplies in Bury since the mid 1970s, and had been heavily involved in the town’s chamber of commerce. He died on Thursday following a short illness.

His wife, Liz, is due to take over as director of the firm. He also leaves two grown up children, Alex and Will.

Andrew Denny, chairman of the chamber of commerce, said: “John’s dedication to the Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce & Industry was genuinely admirable. He cared deeply about the future of West Suffolk and was particularly interested in public transport and infrastructure. He was doggedly determined but also always a true gentleman. A lovely man who will be greatly missed by the chamber and everyone else who knew him.”

Chamber president Chrissy Harrod said: “He was always a great support. What he didn’t know about the railway system wasn’t worth knowing! The most wonderful thing about John is that he was a very kind man and a true gentleman and I am sure everyone from the chamber will be saying the same thing, he will be sorely missed.”

And chamber manager Ruth Brady said: “John was a real pleasure to work with. He was always thoughtful and courteous.”

Neil Oldridge, transport and plant manager at the company, said: “He cared for his workers and knew everybody by their Christian name. For me personally, he will be greatly missed.

Mr Baker’s funeral is on Thursday at Holy Innocents Church, Great Barton, at 11am. His family has asked for donations in lieu of flowers to The Prostate Cancer Charity.