‘He had a big heart and would help anyone in need’ - family pay tribute to much-loved grandfather

The family of a much-beloved Crawley man have paid tribute to their big-hearted grandfather.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 8:15 am
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 8:45 am

Jim Laverick, 80, from Pound Hill, died in his home with his family by his side on Saturday, March 13.

His granddaughter Nikki Smith said: “He was born in Three Bridges in the barbershop - this was their home before it was the barbers!

“He moved to Alicia Avenue when he was eight and grew up there.

Jim Laverick with his dog Suki. Pictures courtesy of Nikki Smith

“He then went to Hazelwick School, met my Nan Shirley at the Picture House in Crawley in 1958 and married her in September 1960.

“They had five children - Janice, Derek, Karen, Philip and Angie - and they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last September.

“He was a real gentleman, the patriarch of our family. He had a big heart and would help anyone in need.”

Jim would also stop and chat to everyone who would listen when on walks with his dog Suki, she added.

Jim Laverick with his family

Nikki added: “He was a very talkative man, who on his dog walks would talk to anyone who listened.

“He could talk the hind legs off a donkey. If you got chatting to him you couldn’t get away. He just loved to talk but everyone loved him!

“He was a very knowledgeable man and knew everything about everything.

“He had a love for country music, birds, dogs, bonsai trees. He used to have canary aviaries in his garden years ago.

“There’s so many memories, I couldn’t pick a favourite.”

Jim also had a keen interest in refereeing, Nikki said: “He was a class 1 football referee in the late 70s and early 80s.

“He was also a class 1 HGV driver for BOC in the 80s and he always won best lorry driver of the year with BOC.”

Jim’s funeral was held on Tuesday, April 6 at the crematorium.

People were encouraged to the line the streets of his Pearson Road home to pay their respects to Jim.

Jim is survived by his four children, 14 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.