Friends and family have paid their respects to a well known and much loved funeral director in Banbury who has died aged 52.
Ian Fergie lived in Overthorpe and passed away on June 15.
He had been working at J&M Humphris in Albert Street since 2003 after moving down south after working for a family funeral director business in St Helens, Merseyside.
He also oversaw three other branches in the area on behalf of the family firm, before building up his own branch.
His funeral service took place at Banbury Crematorium last Saturday where many friends, colleagues and even local families that he had previously served, assembled together to pay their respects and say goodbye.
Martin Humphris of J&M Humphris has paid tribute to Mr Fergie, and said: “Ian worked for us for almost 12 years, bringing with him much experience. His work was to him a very important part of his life. He was very thoughtful and professional at all times.
“Ian had a fantastic and unique way when supporting families that had been bereaved.
“He would always go that extra mile to make sure everything was exactly as the family wished. When helping and supporting families, he used his very unique sense of humour to make a very difficult experience easier.
“Both in stature, appearance and nature he was a larger than life person and was liked and respected by so many within the funeral profession as well as the many families he served.
“Ian put into practice his great love of flowers by planting, developing and tending the flower beds at our premises. In his memory this is to be named the Ian Fergie Memorial Garden.
“His death leaves a large void for all of those who worked with him here at J&M Humphris. It will never be the same again.”
Edd Frost was a close friend of Mr Fergie and also runs his funeral director business in Horton View, Banbury. He said the Banbury community had been ‘blessed with an outstanding man and funeral director’.
He said: “Following his move down south, Ian quickly settled into his new surroundings and enjoyed the camraderie of his new work colleagues and the importance of serving families in and around Banbury.
“His dry wit and sharp sense of humour took some, upon first meeting him, a bit of getting used to. His geniune passion though and love of his job, and most importantly, the care he gave to the families he served was second to none.
“Although over the last few months illness took a grip of Ian he never let it affect his work ethic and would certainly not tolerate letting his families down.
“The community has been blessed with an outstanding man and funeral director who came to love Banbury and the families within it as well as families from Banbury and surrounding areas loving him. He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.”
Donations in Mr Fergie’s memory for Make-A-Wish Foundation are still being received c/o: Edd Frost & Daughters Family Funeral Directors, 20 Horton View, Banbury OX16 9HR.