Brendan Fulham, the man behind the project to buy Lakenheath British Legion Club for the village, has died.
Called the People’s Project, it was the latest in a long history of an active life in the community, which included his being involved in Lakenheath Good Neighbours Group, fund raising for EACH and being chairman of the bench at Mildenhall Magistrates’ Court.
Mr Fulham, 71, died suddenly last Thursday of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (burst blood vessel), just two weeks after learning the bid to buy the legion club had been successful.
His wife Margaret said: “He knew he had got the hall, he just didn’t have time to do anything with it. I’m grateful for that.
“I’m on the hall committee so I’m going to keep pushing on. It’s got to be his legacy to the village now.”
The couple, who would have been married for 48 years in September, have two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren, who counted 150 condolence cards.
Mrs Fulham said: “He was loved in the village. I’m not boasting, but it will be difficult to replace him.”
The Fulhams bought the land for their home, off Briscoe Way, in 1966. Mr Fulham was a full-time union officer for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, which became Unite. He was once Britain’s youngest magistrate, had served on Suffolk’s police authority and was a member of Forest Heath Crime Prevention Panel.
He was an Honorary Commander at RAF Lakenheath and had just been offered a place on West Suffolk Joint Standards Committee when he died.
Though the Fulham’s are Catholic, his funeral service will be at Lakenheath’s Anglican St Mary’s Church because the couple celebrated mass on the airbase, which would have been difficult for guests to access.
The service will be conducted by their friend, Bishop of the Military Arch Diocese, Most Rev Richard Higgins at 1pm on July 8, followed by cremation at Risby at 3pm then a celebration of Brendan’s life at Lakenheath Village Hall afterwards.
Mrs Fulham said: “Everyone is welcome at all of them. We want people to wear bright colours because he didn’t want them wearing black.”