A long-standing Burgess Hill resident and former president of Burgess Hill and District Rotary Club took his final bus ride yesterday.
Dave Hayman, 85, lost his battle with cancer on August 24, and spent his final days at the St Peter and St James Hospice.
The London transport number 164 was ‘one of the heartbeats of Dave’s life’, his family has said.
The bus took him and his wife of 64 years, June, from their first date to the pictures, to their adventures through life together.
Special arrangements were made by Paul Masson Funeral Directors in Haywards Heath, who were able to locate a London transport bus displaying the same route.
Dave, together with his family, rode the bus for one last time, before and after his funeral service on Tuesday, which was held at Surrey and Sussex Crematorium.
We all miss him beyond measure and love him beyond words but it was lovely to celebrate his life in a way that he would have loved.Dave’s family
His family said: The bus carried Dave and the family to Worth and then the family returned on the bus back to Burgess Hill for Dave’s wake where we spent time remembering dad’s escapades over the years and celebrating his life.
“We all miss him beyond measure and love him beyond words but it was lovely to celebrate his life in a way that he would have loved.”
Dave could often be seen raising money for Rotary causes around town.
In 2000 he spearheaded the Rotary club’s sponsorship of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and with help from former Middy editor Paul Watson and the community he raised £90,000 for the charity.
His daughter, Anita Hayman, who lives in Burgess Hill, said: “Dad loved being part of the community for his whole life.
“It was nice to see the community supporting him through the amazing care he received at the St Peter and St James Hospice in his final days. The nurses there are incredible and the hospice is beautiful in every way.”
Burgess Hill and District Rotary Club president Julie Smyth has also paid tribute to Dave.
She said: “Dave was a long-serving, fun-loving Rotarian who was selfless and always full of enthusiasm. He embodied ‘service above self’”.
Dave leaves behind his four children; Steve, Keith, Craig and Anita and their spouses; Lesley, Jo, Janet and Pete and ten grandchildren.
A former RAF signal operator based in Kai Tak, Hong Kong and lifelong cyclist, his infectious, passionate embrace of life touched many along the way.
His ability to spot a 1950s Higgins Ultralite bike frame around the world and surprise the bike’s current owner on its virtues will be sorely missed, said his family.
Donations to St Peter and St James hospice are welcome and can be made at Paul Masson Funeral Directors.
See a full tribute in this week’s Middy.
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