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David Reeve 1943-2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of David Reeve, aged 77. David, was a long-standing National Garden Scheme volunteer and supporter, he was admitted to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds suffering from Covid-19 and died there on Saturday 16th January.

David and Jenny were both Mildenhall born and bred. Theirs was a youthful romance; they married in 1969 when David was 26 having met at the local badminton club and stayed blissfully together for more than 51 years. Sport was always important, in his youth, as well as badminton David played football, cricket and tennis keenly, later it was golf. A measure of his many talents, he built their house where they lived ever since, and he carved out a successful career as a skilful and respected electrician.

David and Jenny’s introduction to the National Garden Scheme came in 1998 when they first opened their garden. Ten years later Jenny took on the role of county organiser for West Suffolk. There is a long-established tradition that National Garden Scheme county organisers are usually female. Over the years this has given rise to a very particular type of person, the National Garden Scheme husband. He is usually quiet and self-deprecating, but also generous, efficient and committed. He is always there.

David was an exemplary National Garden Scheme husband. From when Jenny first became county organiser for West Suffolk and when a few years later she took on the whole county, David was her constant support and adviser, accompanying her on visits to prospective gardens or garden openings, sharing the load. But he was far more than just her wingman; when Jenny became county organiser he took on the role of county treasurer and managed the county’s finances with faultless competence. Every year he single-handedly organised the complicated task of distributing every Suffolk garden’s stationery into their individual bags.

David had other skills. He loved gardening and was an expert on soft fruit. He was also an enthusiastic and talented watercolourist and attended a weekly club. A fellow member of the club has written to Jenny; “whenever I looked at his pictures he was self-disparaging and he should not have been…Your lovely David had a twinkle in his eye and was a kind man with a gentle sense of humour.”

David will be greatly missed and our thoughts go out to Jenny, their two sons Christopher and Nick, their daughters-in-law Debbie and Emily and their grandchildren Caitlin and Euan.

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