Family and friends pay tribute to Sudbury community champion Graeme Weir following death at age of 93
After making a large donation to a key community cause in 2019, Graeme Weir said he loved Sudbury and was determined to leave a legacy for the town.
His generosity over the last 50 years has been fondly remembered by friends and family over the last week, after they paid tribute to the community-minded pensioner, following his death on Saturday, February 6, at the age of 93.
Mr Weir was a familiar face to many around town, known for his contributions to various local groups and initiatives, as well as his long-time passion for flying.
A resident of Ballingdon Street since 1971, he notably produced a special film about Sudbury in 1987, documenting all of the major occasions and civic events which took place during that year, for use by the town’s museum.
His community contributions include financing the installation of four publicly-accessible defibrillators around town for emergency use, working with Sudbury Town Council, and sponsoring the annual Christmas dinner for people over the age of 65 at Sudbury Town Hall.
Amanda Reavell, who was a friend of Mr Weir’s for approximately 60 years, told the Free Press: “He did a great deal of good for the town over many years.
“Graeme was one of my parents’ closest friends, and he was one of the last of his generation still here.
“He had a large circle of friends in the old days. He was widowed four years ago but, like many gentleman of his age, he was also fiercely independent.
“He was a very smartly-dressed and intelligent man who had a great sense of humour.
“He was the sort of person who always wanted to do the best for his community and his neighbourhood. This was very important to him.”
Born and raised in the Ilford area, Mr Weir completed his national service shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War, serving overseas with the 9th Parachute Battalion of the 6th Airborne Division in Palestine.
Following his return to England, he moved to the east of England with his wife, Patricia, in the 1950s, while working as a development site surveyor for Mobil, from 1949 to 1981, and then The Landware Group until his retirement in 1987.
Upon moving to East Anglia, the couple initially settled in Little Cornard, during which time Mr Weir made a significant contribution to the village’s All Saints’ Church, to support the commemorative rehanging of the church tower’s historic bells.
Following a spell living in Chelsworth, they relocated to Sudbury, where they lived at the same address together, until Patricia died four years ago.
While living in Suffolk, he also developed a keen interest in both motor sport and aircraft, joining Ipswich Flying School and earning his pilot’s licence in 1965.
He later transitioned into aerobatics and owned a series of aircraft to support his hobby.
Mr Weir’s niece, Bridget Cragan, said: “Graeme was a great uncle, and was adored by his family. He was a lot of fun and was interested in just about everything.
“He absolutely loved Sudbury. He always wanted to tell me about the history of Sudbury and all the things he had done. We would often argue about politics, but we always reconciled in the end.
“Christmases were always something to behold in our family. When my children were younger, Graeme would always relish it and join in games with the kids.
“My grandchildren were very proud of him, because they are in the air cadets and are learning to fly, and he had always wanted to take them up in his aircraft.”