OBITUARY; Former Cambridgeshire police officer and community stalwart Pat McGuinness has died, aged 65

Pat McGuinness from St Ives

Pat McGuinness from St Ives - Credit: Archant

Former Cambridgeshire police officer and community stalwart John Patrick Vincent McGuinness has died, aged 65.

Patrick, known to his family and friends as Pat, passed away unexpectedly on August 25, with his wife Verena (Vee) at his side.

Pat, from St Ives, was born in Mohill- Co Leitrim (Republic of Ireland), on January 19, 1950, to the late Mary and John McGuinness and was immensely proud of his Irish roots.

He moved to St Ives in 1968 and married Vee in 1996.

Pat had immense charm, wit and presence, which won him many friends in the St Ives community. He served in Cambridgeshire Constabulary for 30 years, again making many friends, in the Serious Crime and Fraud Squad, as well as being a well-known face in the area.

Pat was well respected in the St Ives community and became a leading light in the formation of the successful Pub Watch initiative. His fund-raising abilities are described as legendary and through his masonic and personal connections he raised tens of thousands of pounds for local and national charities, including Dream Drops, where again he was a founding member.

He could frequently be found leading initiatives to help those who were less fortunate and his grounding in Ireland during the early part of his life had a huge influence on him and made him one of “life’s givers”.

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After his retirement from the police force in 2005, he remained active in the town and built a successful business with his wife Vee selling doll’s houses and establishing The Toy Shop in Broadway, ST Ives, much to the delight of local parents.

The family describe the last 12 months of Pat’s life as “particularly difficult” after the couple lost their much adored daughter Krissel to cancer and then having Pat himself fight the disease. His suffering, however, was eased with his beloved Vee at his side.

Pat is described by his family as “one of life’s true characters and a good guy in every respect”, and in a fitting tribute, they say “the world, and St Ives in particular, will be poorer without his cheerful presence”.

The funeral will take place at the Burgess Hall in St Ives on September 22 at 2pm, followed by a committal at Cambridge Crematorium (West Wing) at 3.45pm. All those attending are invited to the Dolphin Hotel afterwards.

Flowers may be sent to the funeral directors Dennis Easton, Cemetery Road St Ives.