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'He was always there to support us and see us through': Farewells to dedicated Dagenham citizen and father

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:44 22 November 2019

Norman Wood (centre) with community support officers at a street party he helped organise for St George's Day. Picture: John Wood.

Norman Wood (centre) with community support officers at a street party he helped organise for St George's Day. Picture: John Wood.

John Wood

Dagenham is saying goodbye to a dedicated community leader, father and husband.

Norman "Nobby" Wood died aged 71 at his home in Eastfield Gardens on November 9.

His work in the community included chairing the Reede Road Tenants and Residents Association, chairing the Albion Police Ward Panel - helping set police priorities in the area - and organising events like St George's Day street parties, said his son, Paul. He also took the field for Dagenham and Redbridge FC before becoming a life-long fan.

His efforts were cut short two years ago when he was house-bound by health issues.

Born in Birmingham before moving to east London, Norman lived in the same Dagenham road for 40 years. He was a painter and decorator by trade. His second-youngest son Stephen, 33, now follows in his footsteps.

"I'm feeling lost," said Paul, 40. "He made me who I am now - and my brothers.

"I just can't believe what happened. It happened all so quickly."

Paul said his father died of kidney failure the morning after a family dinner.

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"He would always help anyone out, or get someone who could," Paul added.

"When I was younger he used to take me to football every Saturday and Sunday. He did for me what he did for my boys.

"He was always there to support us and see us through."

Paul is a third generation gardener thanks to Norman, who got his green fingers from his father, Ronald. Paul works for the council maintaining greenery in public places.

To celebrate his father's love of plants, the family is trying to fill Norman's funeral with flowers: "He loved his flowers and we wanted to send him off with what he loved."

Norman's dedication to the community was matched by commitment to his family.

"He was my mum's soul mate," Paul said. "They had been together for 48 years."

Linda Wood, Norman's widow, has said in a statement: "My thanks to anyone who knew Norman. He's forever in our hearts."

Norman is survived by his wife, four sons and nine grandchildren.

Anyone who knew Norman has been invited to his funeral at Corbet Tey at 2.40pm on November 28.

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