Traditional Romany send off for Durrington man

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A BELOVED family man was given a traditional Romany send off on Tuesday (September 27).

Nelson Doe, part of the well-known flower-selling family, died at his Durrington Lane home on September 21, after a battle with cancer.

Family and friends attended the funeral, which included a horse-drawn carriage procession, at Durrington Cemetery, in Findon Road.

One of Nelson’s three daughters, Gill Ayres, said: “My dad’s life revolved around his family – he meant everything to us.

“He was a very special gentleman, no one ever had a bad word to say about him.”

Nelson, one of 15 siblings, was part of a large extended Romany gypsy family. He was laid to rest alongside brother Reg and sister Vinnie, who was a well-known Worthing flower seller in Montague Street.

Nelson, who had four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, was married to May, 73. The couple met in 1955 when they were both 16.

He was called up for National Service between 1956 to 1958, and spent a year on Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean, to help with preparations for the atomic bomb.

Nelson’s daughters said her father was a very hard worker and dreamt of owning a bungalow like his parents, Charlie and Phoebe had, which he achieved 11 years ago.

Gill said: “We made sure we gave him the send-off he deserved. There were wonderful flowers depicting the things he loved in life, like gardening and birds, and a box made to look like a box from Deal or No Deal, because he loved that show.

“It said number one on it, because he was our number one dad.”

During the funeral service, a number of songs were played, included a recording by his late brother Reg of Travellers in Heaven, and the song Dance With My Father, selected by his daughters.