Funeral will celebrate the life of sociable Stourbridge birdwatcher

Stourbridge News: "Ginger" John Clarke "Ginger" John Clarke

A HORSE and trap will lead a funeral procession for a much-loved Stourbridge man tomorrow (Friday).

John Clarke, known as Ginger John to his friends, died of liver failure on Monday January 6, aged 66.

Mr Clarke, of Kennedy Court, was a familiar face at Stourbridge College's Longlands Centre, Brook Street, where he worked as a caretaker for more than 30 years.

When he retired two years ago, the father-of-two was able to devote more time to his hobby, birdwatching and often enjoyed days out with the Stourbridge RSPB.

His son, Justin Clarke, aged 45, of Stourbridge, said: "Everyone called him Ginger, only his mother called him John. He was very proud of his red hair. He loved his birdwatching and he liked a drink. He was very much a sociable person, he thrived when he was around people, holding court in the pub. He loved going out, having a few jars with his friends and travelling.

"He was a humanitarian, he hated bullying and believed in equality."

Mourners are asked to gather at the entrance to Mary Stevens Park, where the procession will leave for Stourbridge Crematorium at 12 noon.

A wake will follow the service at The Unicorn Inn, Wollaston, at 1pm.

Donations can be made, in lieu of flowers, to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

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