Police and neighbourhood watch team members stood proudly with family and friends at the packed funeral of Ken Oldershaw.
Tributes were paid to Ken, one of the town’s first PCSOs (police community support officers), at his funeral on Thursday (March 3).
The ‘inspirational’ ‘family man’ died from pneumonia in hospital, on March 28, aged 64.
His son Dean Oldershaw was first to speak at his funeral and said that if he ‘could be half the man he father was’, he ‘would be OK in life’.
He said: “You have no idea how special and amazing you really are. I love you more than you will ever know.”
He described his father as his ‘own personal Siri’ (an Iphone app which answers all your questions).
He said: “He would pretty much know anywhere. He could name every road from where I knew to where I was going.”
Dean said he was glad he managed to find a girlfriend who his father approved of.
He hoped he could be half as happy his parents were after 34 years of marriage.
Ken’s former colleagues from police and neighbourhood watch team spilled out of the funeral hall at the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium.
They laughed as Dean recalled his father’s love for his ‘CCTV van’.
He said: “That van was his van and don’t you forget that! Even though it was a work vehicle.”
Ken’s daughter Kelly said her father would continue to be an inspiration after his death.
She said: “He was a huge inspiration to me and so many. And his death has the ability to become a guiding light and a catalyst for change.
“This is a wake up call. One that can change our lives.”
She added that he was devoted to his family, closely followed by his job, Star Trek, Harry Potter and sports.
Ken was a football fanatic who supported Tottenham Hotspur FC and Kelly joked that he could have been even happier if he supported a team which won more often.
She added: “I hope we will allow dad to inspire us to live an extraordinary life.
“As Joseph Campbell says, we have to let go of the life that’s planned to live the life that’s waiting for us.”