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Benfleet won't be the same without Bryn
3:00pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
THE heartbroken wife of a former banker paid a touching tribute to her husband, saying: “Benfleet won’t be the same without him.”
Bryn Keeler, 77, of Greenwood Avenue, Benfleet, died after 11 weeks in Southend Hospital.
He was taken there as a precaution after his van careered off the High Road, demolished a 7ft wall and ended up in the garden of a house in St Mary’s Drive on June 15.
His wife Rita, 75, said it was only when tests revealed some “concerning results” for his blood pressure, blood sugar and an infection that he was admitted.
She added: “Although he hadn’t been well, we didn’t know he was seriously ill.”
Bryn, real name Brian, was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma and, although he started a cycle of treatment, he died on August 27.
His wife believes the accident was caused by his illness.
She said: “He put his foot on the accelerator instead of the brake, he was just not functioning properly, but without the accident we wouldn’t have got him into hospital and they wouldn’t have done their investigations.
“The highlight of his stay was on my birthday in July when the physios were able to help him to stand and he gave me a bouquet of pink roses. He sang Happy Birthday and wrote me a card.
I’ll never forget that.”
Mr Keeler, who was a regular Echo letter writer, grew up in Hornchurch and was a member of the Sea Cadets from the age of 14 until he began National Service, aged 19, with the Royal Navy on HMS Superb in 1954.
He was away for a year, but wrote to Rita every day.
Mr Keeler rejoined the cadets in 1956. The keen trumpet player wanted to run the group’s band, but when he was told that wasn’t possible he established the Hornchurch Drum and Trumpet Corps in 1959, which became one of the UK best boys marching bands and it’s still going today.
Mr Keeler worked in a number of City banks, as well as with his wife at an estate agents in Benfleet and in the accounts department at Basildon Hospital. The couple, who were married in 1958, moved to Castle Point 42 years ago. Mr Keeler was a father-of-three and grandfather- of-five. His funeral was due to be held at Benfleet Methodist Church, in High Road, Benfleet, today.
The family have requested donations are made to Southend Hospital Trust through T Cribb and Sons, funeral directors.
Family flowers only.
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