Just been cleaning up some files from PC when I found this my father’s Eulogy. Written by my mother, myself and my brother George which was read out just over a year ago at his funeral at Sunderland Crematorium. Why I’m I posting it here? Well as a sort of closure for myself and also should any of dad’s friends from various points of his life wonder what happened to him.
Derek Newport 1941-2012
“Derek was born in Norfolk to Edna and Fred Newport and lived in the village of Hockwold Cum Wilton with his brothers Robert, David, and sister Catherine. He had a countryside childhood, working on farms during the summer and playing football with his brothers.
Derek was physically strong person with a vital personality. He was a keen cyclist all his life and prior to going to college was Nolfolk County sprint champion on several occasions. He was a supporter of Norwich City Football club, and on one occasion while he was at college went as far as cycling from Manchester to Liverpool to watch them play at Anfield. He enjoyed following sport all his life and in particular athletics. He took great pleasure when his son George ran for Tynedale Harriers and Northumberland at a junior level travelling the county supporting him.
He had a keen intellect. He went to Thetford Grammar School, where he developed a keen interest in history, which passed onto his son Paul along with a clear understanding of the fundamentals of maths and Science. In the late 1950s he went to Salford Technical College (now The University of Salford) to study Electrical Engineering, and was inspired by some of the early pioneers of modern electronics and technology who taught him. He worked with some of the early computers and he passed this inspiration on to Paul who now works in Computing. It was during this period that he met his future wife, Olive.
After graduating he had a career as a Sales Engineer, negotiating multi-million pound contracts for British Engineering Firms such as Marconi, Hawker Sydney and Rolls Royce, travelling to Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Far East. Derek was especially fond of Thailand, and loved the friendly and relaxed atmosphere of the country. He briefly visited during his working life but went there on holiday after his retirement taking time to visit old friends he had made on business as well as exploring the country more fully.
He had a good tenor voice and a great love of a wide variety of music, in particular jazz. He enjoyed singing and was a member of Hexham Male Voice choir for many years. He took part in a performance at the Sage in 2010.
Despite separating from Olive, in the early 2000s, he remained very supportive of her, Paul and George. He helped to make Paul’s wedding to Rachel in 2006 a harmonious and happy day. Shortly after he became a proud grandfather in 2007 when Evelyn was born to Paul and Rachel and again in 2009 when they had Henry. He admired both children’s strong spirit, and was especially looking forward to teaching Henry how to play football.
He spent the last years of his life in Collingwood Court in Marlborough Park. Here he made many good friends. Derek served on the resident’s committee and he was particularly proud that of the improvements that he and his fellow committee members were able to make during the time he was on it. Paul was especially touched when Derek’s neighbour Bobby said of him “He always has time for anyone, is a complete gentleman and has done so much for others as a committee member”.
He will be greatly missed by all of us.”