Tributes to man ‘better than a triple espresso’

Ron Furniss
Ron Furniss

A funeral was held last week for a handsome and ‘jovial’ Burgess Hill newsagent owner who passed away after battling bowel cancer for three years.

Ronald Joseph Furniss, known as Ron, passed away peacefully at home on July 16 at the age of 67.

He was the owner of Newspoint, in London Road for 31 years.

Jackie, 65, his wife of 44 years, said his shop was known as ‘Ron’s shop’ because they owned it for 31 years and his cheeky personality made customers come back.

She said: “He was just a jovial, jokey sort of man. He insulted everybody that came into the shop and they used to come back every morning for more. They gave it back too.

“He had taxi drivers come in and drink their tea.

“He will be missed by a huge number of people. He was one of a kind.”

Jackie met Ron at the Top Rank in Brighton when she was 17 and he was 20.

Every week for six months, Ron would ask Jackie for one dance.

Finally one night he asked her if she wanted to come for a drink before quickly adding that he had no money so it would have to be at his parents’ house.

Three years later they married. They had a son Brendan, 37, and daughter Melissa, 33.

Brendan said: “A few minutes with Ron at 6.30am was better than a triple espresso. He was a larger than life figure that everyone in Burgess Hill knew.”

Ron discovered he had bowel cancer three years ago. After undergoing operations and radiotherapy he was finally told, just three weeks before he died, that there was nothing else that could be done for him.

He was able to enjoy his final few weeks at home surrounded by his loving family.