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Peter Funnell
Peter Funnell

Peter Funnell

16th June 1933 - 9th September 2010


Peter was born on the 16th June 1933 in Croydon, Surrey the only child of the late Herbert and Winifred Funnell. His father worked as a compositor and, on leaving school, Peter followed his father into the printing trade by becoming a Lithographic Printer.

An attractive young man, Peter had a great sense of fun and mischief. Always stimulating company he was witty, informative sometimes controversial but never dull.

On the 2nd October 1954 Peter married the love of his life Joan at St Johns Church, Margate. Life was good for the young couple and their happiness was complete with the arrival of their two daughters Paula and Alison. Peter was incredibly proud of his family and took great delight in spending time with them - enriching their lives with so much diversity with his incredible knowledge of the world around them.

Both Alison and Paula remember, with great fondness, childhood holidays at Bovisand where their father spent all of his time in the water diving and taking photographs.. They also remember him catching crabs and scallops then cooking them for supper.

A diving instructor and a scuba diver for more than 30 years, initially with West Wickham BSAC, and later with Thornton Heath BSAC, Peter's interest in underwater photography led him to join the British Society of Underwater Photographers, attending monthly meetings whenever he was able. Peter travelled to many parts of the globe in pursuit of his passion including the Red Sea, Cayman Islands, Tenerife and Malta.

At home he liked watching Formula One and adored listening to music, his taste was eclectic but I have it on good authority that when it came to the dancing John Travolta has nothing to worry about!

Peter wasn't a gardener in the true sense of the word but he did like his lawn to look nice. He had a great love of animals especially birds, he appreciated more than most the natural beauty that surrounded him.

His photographs reflect his deep love of nature having been executed with a naturalist's eye for detail and with the sensitivity of an artist. To capture shape and movement you have to be able to absorb the spirit and atmosphere that surrounds you, this Peter did so well.

A keen astronomer his favourite TV programmes was the Sky at Night with Patrick Moore. Peter had an enquiring mind; he liked to deal in facts not fiction and was in his element when teaching himself
how to use a computer.

A bit of a hoarder, Peter was always been a great collector of what he would describe as 'miscellaneous bits and pieces that are bound to come in handy someday'. Others might have called it junk, but invariably, and on occasions many years later; he would find a use for the most bizarre object and take enormous pleasure and satisfaction in telling everyone about it.

He wasn't a deeply religious man and believed that the way you treated people and the respect you showed to others was far more important than which church you belonged to, your background, your politics or where you came from. He accepted people for who they were without prejudice or judgement.

Mind you, he didn't suffer fools gladly and had no problem in calling a spade a spade whenever or wherever he felt the need . And could often pluck a somewhat, how shall I put it, colourful turn of phrase at the
most opportune moment.

Well liked and well respected, Peter will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him especially his family: Joan his beloved wife, best friend and soul mate. His daughters Paula and Alison whom he loved unconditionally. His son-in-laws Peter and Steve who he welcomed into the family with open arms and loved them as his own. Grandchildren Christopher, Nicola, Harrison and Gemma, with whom Peter shared such a special relationship - the kind only grandparents seem able to achieve. And of course all other members of the family and friends. Together you have made so many very happy memories that will last a lifetime and beyond.

A decent human being and a very courageous man, Peter's passion for life and enthusiasm for living knew no bounds. And this is the legacy he leaves his beloved family and friends, and it is within them that Peter's spirit lives on.

A celebration of Peter's life was held a St Peter's Chapel, Exeter on 21 September 2010 and afterwards at Greenway House, Galmpton, near Brixham, where both Peter and Joan were National Trust volunteers.

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