Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Handyman who was twice Mayor of Henley

JOHN PRUCKNER, who died at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford on August 31, was born in

JOHN PRUCKNER, who died at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford on August 31, was born in Harrow in 1935.

John, along with his wife Joyce and three daughters, moved to Henley in 1975 after spotting and falling in love with a property on Rod Eyot while on a boat trip with the family.

He announced to the family that he would buy the house (Summerholme) on first inspection and he did just that, moving the family from a “normal” semi in Pinner to a wooden house on an island!

The timber property, previously a houseboat, was in much need of some TLC and John worked tirelessly over several years to sympathetically renovate Summerholme to become a much- loved family home. He was well known locally, both as a heating and plumbing engineer (often found at lunchtimes enjoying a fry-up in Ted’s Café) and as a Henley town councillor.

It was this latter role that led John to serve two terms of office as mayor in 1983 and 1986.

It was a role he carried out with much pride and commitment with Joyce by his side.

After their three daughters had flown the nest, John and Joyce eventually moved from Summerholme in 1989 and settled on dry land in Sonning Common.

John continued to be active for many years, carrying out small building jobs locally when he was well into his seventies. Even after retiring John would tinker in the garage, potter around the house... anything rather than sit in front of the box!

Sadly, these simple pleasures were stripped away from him after he was diagnosed with vascular dementia two years ago.

John will be so missed by his wife Joyce, three daughters and seven grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at Reading Crematorium on Monday (September 14) at 11.30am.

John’s daughter Maria is fund-raising for the Alzheimer’s Society by taking part in the Thames Path Challenge tomorrow (Saturday).

If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.justgiving.com/Maria-Hayden2

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