Stuart Reece

Stuart Reece

Born
11 September 1944
Manchester, United Kingdom
Died
13 May 2022
Watford, United Kingdom
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Words by
Ashley Reece & Martine Reuben Son & Daughter

Ashley

It is lovely to see so many of you. We are truly grateful for all the effort you have made to be here. We were wondering if you are only here because now you can get a word in edgeways.

Martine

Actually we are a bit worried, dad may still heckle us!

Ashley

Dad, you have been the most generous, loving and supportive father. You leave a massive empty chasm. You were in many ways a larger-than-life character and you lived a full, fun and vibrant life.

Once met never forgotten

Martine

You were born in 1944 on 11 September to Lily and Issy Reece, our dear grandparents of blessed memory. Your father a kosher butcher no less. Your dear sister, our auntie Devorah, born five years later, who has made the journey from Manchester, and so we are complete in honouring dad today just as it should be. You had a charmed childhood filled with mischievous high jinx with your mates that make your school days sound like an episode of Just William or Grange Hill.

Ashley

You were educated at Stand Grammar and made long and firm friendships lasting to this day, rekindled in recent years with the online Zoom calls with the Stand boys, still keeping in touch after all these years.

Martine

You played football for the North Manchester Jewish League and were a star striker, once labelled as having the best legs in Jewish League football.

You were a keen ice skater and used to float around the Manchester ice rink. You had an eye for the ladies from an early age, once disappearing from the ice only to be found in the top seated tear with none other than the Eighties pop singer Elkie Brookes.

Ashley

A rockstar life beckoned for a while with your foray into band management of an act called The Admirals, where for years we thought the gutsy guitar riff in the song you produced in the 1960s( and you found recently on a website to download) was you. Whereas in fact it was “the guitarist who used to play with the Beatles”.

Martine

You kept to the admiral theme by wearing a seafarers jacket at a JNF do in 1967 where you met a sweet Sixties chick with a thick fringe, long hair and a cracking figure, a certain Wendy Lipkin, who spied you across a crowded room and said who’s that dishy guy sitting in the corner. Being very shortsighted, she put on her glasses, and when looking with more clarity was still enamored and soon after you were engaged to be married. A rocky start as your future father-in-law, mum’s dear father, our Grandpa Alf died in 1970, a few months before your wedding.

Ashley

I came along in 1972, and Martine in 1975, so if you take the gematria of…

Martine

….actually no gematria today.

We lived on Moss Lane, in Sale, South Manchester, later moving a few roads away to the famous bungalow called ‘Tregaron’, where we had over thirty years of many, happy family times, with marquees and coloured bows on the simcha bush marking birthdays, engagements, anniversaries and my wedding. It is still a mystery how you allowed those tents on your hallowed turf.

you lived and breathed your work, and were never short of a boring tax story

Ashley

You worked on your accountancy articles, in a firm in Manchester, and when your new found parental responsibilities came along, you asked for a raise and was given a measly few quid so in not untypical style, thought that was ludicrous and decided to get out of the firm and bought into your own practice in Warrington forming Wilson Reece and Co, where you worked for an amazing forty five years. Retirement was a wrench because you lived and breathed your work, and were never short of a boring tax story.

Martine

You like to dress smart, wear unusual glasses, and alternative, dapper attire. You had an exclusive collection of little-known-about men’s clothes shops in Wilmslow, and later Stanmore, whose proprietors you would refer to as ‘my man’.

Ashley

Generous in so many ways you welcomed your mother-in-law, mum’s mummy, our Grandma Ruth, to stay for every Yom Tov, celebration, or just for a visit, giving an opportunity to have a wonderful relationship with our grandma. And she loved you, nicknaming you ‘Fiery Fred’ and calling you a good man, and your respect of her, as of your own dear parents who you idolised, really embodied the Fifth Commandment – honour your mother and father.

Martine

You loved your nieces and nephews, who say you have been like a father figure to them. Advising, supporting and being there when it mattered. Your great nieces and great nephews also benefited from your wise counsel.

You thought about opening an online complaint-writing bureau called diabolical.com

Ashley

You called me Mr Man before the Mr Men.

You used the word ‘ream’ way before anyone in TOWIE.

You were an early adopter of tech – Atari, video recorder, camcorder and satellite TV Although you nearly came a cropper when you got two mobile phones cloned and the company recorded a call in Birmingham and Leeds simultaneously when Martine called Danielle on the cloned phones.

Martine

You were opinionated. You liked to complain. Sorry…. you loved to complain. You thought about opening an online complaint-writing bureau called diabolical.com. Your most recent success included a chain of four free meals at The Ivy. No wonder it became your favourite restaurant. But you were never one for what you called ‘poncey food’, preferring fish and chips which you always called ‘chish and fips’.

Ashley

You loved Manchester United all your life. You lived Manchester United at one time. You played for Manchester United in a businessman’s match and would try and put off any prospective sons or daughters- in-law by making them watch your video of it. Danielle and Darren embraced this, thankfully for me and Martine.

Martine

A mishugas of being fearful of flying [despite jetting off on many European holidays when we were younger – I know we could not work it out either] you were a seasoned sailor and loved the crack of the cruise, even better if you got a free upgrade and a load of on board credit. We sang a Les Miz parody song at your lockdown fiftieth anniversary afternoon tea. Sadly there will not be One Cruise More.

You loved rabbonim, and rabbonim loved you

Ashley

You reached an amazing milestone of fifty one years of marriage to our dear mum. Some say she deserves a medal for putting up with you, but she did and you moved to London six years ago for her. We are immensely proud of you moving your life in Manchester to come to London. You used to say you don’t know why the country does not tip up with so many people moving there. But you wanted to live your twilight years nearer to us all. After a few initial homesick moments, you embraced your new life with true Stu vigour and with your snooker mates, pool friends and Zoom groups, you were very happy to be here.

Martine

You were community, being the treasurer of Sale Shul for more years than anyone cares to count. Through that work you had the mitzvah to work with a number of rabbonim, and you loved rabbonim, and rabbonim loved you.

Ashley

You could be a bit strict at times when we were growing up, but you have been the most loving, caring, kind and generous father. And you adored being a grandfather, soft, a bit daft and very doting. You idolised your dear granddaughters, being Popa to Ella, Natasha and Paige and you regaled anyone who would listen with stories of their antics and achievements.

Martine

You were droll, funny, cheeky and dry witted. Once met never forgotten.

Sociable, sporty – football as we have heard, cricket and latterly snooker, winning the seniors trophy at Hartsbourne in 2019, retaining your title through the pandemic. You were thrilled with your achievement and with your name going up on the champions board. There is talk we believe of a trophy in your honour. You would love that.

Ashley

You Liked a glass of white wine, or a whiskey…usually with coke, or a lager and lime, lime in first. You weren’t all that with the dogs, complaining of dog hair on your trousers, even if the breed does not moult. Yet you sometimes could be seem stroking your grand-dogs, Strudel, Lenny or Reggie’s heads , and not just after a few drams of Auchentoshen.

Martine

You grew Reeces Ream Tomatoes on your balcony one summer. You cherished your Coutts bank account. You knew all the prices in Lidl, Aldi and Tesco, but mainly of the cans of fizzy drink. You knew every petrol price from Stanmore to Edgware. You resisted an Iphone for years, using an old style Nokia and an old i-touch which you called Popa’s Tippy Tappy phone.

You wrote a mean speech and your delivery was sharp

Ashley

You were so proud of us and our achievements, sharing our work success and my qualifying as a doctor truly lit you up. Your pride in Martine’s business achievements were obvious to everyone. You shared your nachas in our successes across family and friends.

Martine

You were the MediAccounts office boy, keeping tabs on the wages, doing payroll and one of your favourite things, making sure everyone was on the correct tax code.

Ashley

Of all the things you did for me the one I want to thank you for was a deal we struck around 1980. You agreed I could stop going to midweek cheder if we went with you to shul on a Shabbat morning. I kicked back at first but you literally dragged me kicking and screaming until I came to understand the atmosphere, spirituality and format of the Shabbat service and soon I was drawn in to the world of shul going and I loved nothing more than our Shabbat walks to shul. I am a shul goer because of you. And I cannot thank you enough for instilling that in me and doing that deal.

Martine

Of all things you did for me, including giving me my eyebrows, was a love of sport and music. You watched me play every single tennis, netball and hockey match at school. You came with me to see plays by Chekhov and never complained. Who knew?

You bought me a flute, violin and then my piano and you did ‘sing dooz’ with me while I played the piano and you strummed your guitar and Ashley sang. My piano repertoire is all your 60s and 70s guitar sheet music that you took to the office and asked your secretary to make photocopies of and put into packs for me that I still have.

Shalom Dovid Ben Yisroel

Ashley

The sedra we read yesterday was Emor which means ‘to speak’. Well dad you liked to tell a micey* or two. Sometimes described as long, boring miceys but only in an affectionate, endearing, Stuart sort of way.

You were an Associate of the London College of Music with an ALCM qualification in teaching verse speaking . You wrote a mean speech and your delivery was sharp. These are skills we learnt from a master like you.

Martine

You could moan and complain be just a little bit bossy and sometimes Mr Negative but you were sweet, caring, kind and nurturing. I understood your mad ways and although you didn’t always express your feeling we knew you loved us very, very much. I will never ever meet someone like you again in my life, you were larger than life and I will hear your words and your sayings in my head forever.

Ashley

We love you, we miss you. Although you weren’t one for slowing down, sitting still or taking it easy, dad Rest In Peace.

Stuart David Reece • Shalom Dovid Ben Yisroel

Born 11th September 1944 • 23rd Elul 5704

Died 13th May 2022 • 12th Iyar 5782

Taken too soon and too suddenly. Missed forever.

*Hesped Team: Ashley explained that the term “micey” is a family interpretation of the Yiddish “bubbes meises” which is defined as an untrue story or inconsequential thing or minor happening.