James Frederick Sexton
19th September 1928 – 13th January 2022
The funeral service for James Frederick Sexton was held at on Thursday 3rd Feburary 2022 at Wimborne Minster
Our tribute to “Jim”
James or as most people would know him as Jim, was a practical, pragmatic man with a kind heart and a generous soul. I think that is a great way to be regarded and remembered by family, friends and the people who knew him over the years.
Jim was born in 1928 in Seaford, Sussex. His father ran a brewery/off license and his mother was a seamstress. As a scout in Seaford, he patrolled the Seven Sisters during WW2. He took great pride in that the D Day Landing Piper had billeted with his parents. Although his education was disrupted, because he was evacuated for a while during the war, it didn’t stop him being apprenticed as a carpenter before becoming a college lecturer.
The College Lecturer and DIY
As a college lecturer he taught Building and Carpentry, first at Southall College before taking up a post at Poole Technical College in 1970. He really enjoyed teaching others, he enjoyed passing on his knowledge, his skills and seeing people develop.
Jim was always willing to lend a hand, to help others out, offering his advice and his guidance. His carpentry skills often came in handy around the house and the odd jobs he would do for people around Wimborne. I gather that occasionally helped repair parts of the Wimborne model town.
We recall him making wooden toys for me and Barry when we were kids, but also for his grandchildren, including building a Dolls House for Rachel. He taught us DIY and how to fix things. He also taught us you shouldn’t step off a ladder and put your foot in a bucket of wallpaper glue, or you shouldn’t knock a tin of bright blue paint of a scaffold plank all over a cream wall.
Jim wouldn’t think twice about helping others and he wouldn’t want anything in return, because he enjoyed doing it.
Jim was an avid bell ringer, started off as a young ringer in Seaford. He used to ring regularly here in Wimborne on Sundays and most practice nights, for a number of years he was Secretary of the Tower.
Dad introduced both myself and Barry to the world of ringing. He only gave up ringing a few years ago, as he didn’t fancy climbing up or down the well-worn stone stairs to the tower. I remember those stairs as a teenager and I don’t think they have improved with age, so I can’t say we blame him for not wanting to climb those stairs.
I was going through Dad’s papers the other day and found a type noted to somebody called Brian. The note explained bell ringing and how the bells played a “tune”. He had even drawn diagrams to explain how the bells follow each other to create that “tune”. I have no idea who Brian was but it is a good example of how dad was. If somebody wanted to know something he would make the time and effort to explain it.
We would like to thank the ringers at Wimborne Minster for their tribute today. Ringing the bells half muffled and for a quarter peel after the service.
The Church and the Chained Library
Jim was also active in this church, he would regularly attend Sunday service, preferring the 8:00 service, as there wasn’t any of that “singing”. During his time here he was also a part time Verger, a sidesman. He was a guide to the Chain Library, he used to really love taking people around and talking about the chained library.
Jim was a mason, introduced to the Masons by his father. He was a member of the Wimborne Lodge for just over 50 years and for a while he was the Grandmaster. It was something he really enjoyed and took a great deal of pleasure from.
A loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather
As well as being a practical, pragmatic man with a kind heart and a generous soul he was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was always here for us, always taking an interest in what we were doing, and pride in what we achieved.
He met mum on a blind date at a local dance in Brighton, he would take Mum out on his BSA 250 motorbike with no helmet and mum would ride pillion with just a headscarf. How times have changed. Jim and Beryl were married in Hove in 1955, and they were married for over 65 years.
When our Mum, Beryl was diagnosed with dementia and moved into the dementia unit in Zetland Court. Jim would visit her twice a week, every week. As Dad had stopped driving, he used to ring up Dial a Ride to arrange a lift, becoming good friends with the driver. Dementia is a cruel disease and even when he and Mum weren’t able to talk to each other he would still go down just be with her. When Jim moved into Zetland Court in October, he resumed visiting Mum each week.
To us that is a sign of how much he truly loved Beryl and the devotion he had for her.
The Gardener, the Baker and the Wine Maker
Jim was a very keen gardener. From as far back as we can remember, he loved his vegetables and half the garden in Redcotts was dedicated to growing fruit and veg. Each year he used to curse the birds and the rabbits for pinching the seeds and the berries.
He used to make his own wine. We clearly remember when a demijon of apple wine exploded in the dining room. The mess it made was pretty impressive and the smell afterwards lingered for ages afterwards. Apart from that batch of homemade wine, we have to say the rest of his homemade wine was really enjoyable.
Dad was a beekeeper for many years, having 3 hives at the end of the garden. He would be really pleased if he his honey won an award at the Wimborne shows. He also learnt to bake cakes, which from time to time he would also win awards for. Sometimes he would use his homemade cakes to bribe me to come down and sort out his computer for him..
Talking of computers, we are extremely pound of our Dad. When he took early retirement from teaching, he took himself off to the local library, he taught himself how to use a computer. He was able to see what was going on in the world, keep in touch with family and friends via e-mail, Facebook, Zoom, he would Skype his best friends.
Of course, there was the inevitable phone calls to either me and Barry or both us. How do I do this? How do I do that? Where is….? I have lost this document. Why can’t I….? Which sometime would drive us crazy to tell him how doing something when you can’t see his screen. I think others in Wimborne may have had similar questions from Jim.
The Infamous Jim “Type” Map
Long, long, long before the days of Google Maps, Sat Navs etc there was the Infomous Jim Type Map. If you wanted to know how to get somewhere Jim would sketch out a map for you with directions. I know my wife, Sue has had one and from talking to Jim’s neighbours I think they have all been in receipt of one at one time or another. That was Jim, being helpful and practical.
He was well travelled, with holidays in England, Wales, Scotland, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Maderia, Italy, India and many, many other places. When I went to Italy for a holiday I remember him giving me a good guide book, as I might find useful and I wouldn’t have to buy one – the only thing was 15 years out of date but it is the thought and kindness that counts.
“I have had a good life”
When Jim was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, he turned round and said with minutes of being told the news:
“Do you know what I have had a good life and you have to go sometime”.
That would be typical of Jim, pragmatic.
Over the last few weeks or so we have been reflecting and looking back on Dad’s life, I think we would all totally agree with him, he did have a good life.
We will have our own stories and tales to tell
So please do tell those tales, share those stories and the memories you have of him
A Modest Man
We found out today how much of a modest man our Dad was. During his time in Wimborne and the Masons he worked tirelessly with others to raise money for various charities for over 40 years. He never said anything about this and his over accomplishments. Jim being Jim, would prefer to just to get on and quietly do it, without fuss or bother like a lot of things he did.
James Frederick Sexton
So from all of us, family, friends and from Wimborne we thank you for everything
James Frederick Sexton
We will miss you.