Family hit by double tragedy
A FAMILY was in mourning this week after a father and son died within a few days of each other. The owner of Jayes in Huntingdon High Street, Arthur Jennings – known as Mick – died on Saturday, October 6, aged 64. Mr Jennings, who had run the newsagents
A FAMILY was in mourning this week after a father and son died within a few days of each other.
The owner of Jayes in Huntingdon High Street, Arthur Jennings - known as Mick - died on Saturday, October 6, aged 64.
Mr Jennings, who had run the newsagents and tobacconists for nearly 30 years, had fought a long battle with motor neurone disease.
Within less than a week, on Friday, his son Brian, 43, collapsed and died of a heart attack. Brian's mother, Pat, had died of heart failure 12 years ago, aged 52.
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Yesterday (Tuesday), one of the shop's many customers, Councillor Helen Mallett, former Mayor of Huntingdon, paid tribute to both of them.
Cllr Mallett said: "I am shocked and very sad. In the days when I used to walk to work I used to call in at the shop every morning for my paper and I always used to have a cheeky chat with Mick.
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"He was a lovely, amiable man, he never had a bad word to say about anyone and if you were feeling miserable, he would cheer you up.
"I used to work as an administrator for the police in the 1970s and Mick used to tease me about that."
Brian collapsed in The Lord Protector pub on Friday evening and never regained consciousness, despite attempts to revive him.
His family said this week that the arrangements for Mick's funeral with a service at Priory Road Chapel, in Huntingdon, and burial at Primrose Lane Cemetery on Friday would go ahead as planned.
Brian lived with his partner, Mandy Pike and her sons, Thomas, 14, and Nicholas, five.
She said: "He was a god among men. He will be missed by me and my two children."
Brian leaves two sons, Bobby, 12, and Billy, nine. His sister Christine Jennings returned home from a holiday in Sri Lanka on Saturday to discover that both her father and her brother were dead.
She said yesterday: "I haven't had a chance to take it in. I am just numb. I don't know what I can say."
Brian was divorced from his wife Donna but the couple were still on good terms.
His former father-in-law George Gauci said: "We are devastated - we can't put into words how we feel.
"Brian's death was such a shock, he had not even been ill. Brian was special. He was the nicest guy anyone knew.
"He was very popular, people thought the world of him. He did everything for his boys."
Mr Gauci said Brian, like his father, Mick, had been a West Ham supporter and Brian had played football and cricket for local amateur teams. Mick had been a keen cricketer up to his 50s.
Fellow high street trader John Nunn, owner of The Card Gallery, said: "Both of them are a great loss to the town. I knew them as a customer.
"They had a friendly word for everyone who went in to the shop."
The funeral of Arthur Jennings will be at Priory Road, Chapel, Huntingdon, on Friday, at 3pm. Family flowers only but donations if wished to the Motor Neurone Society. These may be given to funeral directors Peacock and Sons in Huntingdon. Brian's funeral is yet to be arranged.