Thursday, 16 September 2021

Dedicated businessman and church stalwart

DEREK RICHARD MARSH, a long-standing Henley resident and businessman, died peacefully on April 20 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in

DEREK RICHARD MARSH, a long-standing Henley resident and businessman, died peacefully on April 20 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

He leaves Maureen, his wife of 53 years, three sons, Dominic, Gregory and Jonathan, and grandchildren Caris and Reuben.

Derek was born in Clayton-le-Moors on October 8, 1935 to Norman and Evelyn and was older brother to Vivien and Christine.

He married Maureen in Rochdale in 1960 and they moved to Henley in 1968 with their young children, living in Lambridge Wood Road for 19 years.

Derek will be remembered for his hard work and dedication in all he did.

A determined scholar, he obtained an LLB from Manchester University and then went on to obtain a British Institute of Management diploma and qualify as a chartered certified accountant while at the same time supporting his young family. Derek worked his way up from the accounts department at engineering firms Turner & Newall and Boden Trailers in the North-West to managing director of FTSE 100 company Crane Fruehauf by the time he was 35. It was during this period that he moved to Henley.

He was subsequently managing director of Psimat, a pressure-washer business based in Newtown Road, Henley, for nine years until 1986. There he ran a pioneering Youth Training Scheme in partnership with Maureen. The scheme gave 16-year-olds in Henley paid employment and the opportunity to learn valuable business skills.

His later career was equally prestigious, working as finance director at several local companies, finishing his career as financial director of Oxford Molecular until his retirement in 2000.

Derek was a stalwart of the Sacred Heart Church where he served on the parochial church council and volunteered as a helper on several pilgrimages, taking disabled people to Lourdes on ACROSS Jumbulances.

He was an active member of Henley Round Table, 41 Club and, latterly, the Veterans. He enjoyed many years of friendship and fellowship with the members.

Family holidays were a highlight and Derek was never more at home than building sand castles with his children, then his grandchildren. His family will remember his sense of humour and winning smile.

Derek helped build a boat with his sons and learned to sail, a pastime that his son Greg has continued to enjoy, winning the renowned three peaks yacht race in his own boat.

Derek was proud to watch his granddaughter Caris gain her Oxford Blue at the Henley boat races in 2010.

Heartfelt thanks to the staff at Acacia Lodge nursing home for their care of Derek in his last months.

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