Sad farewell to Ray Woodward, widower of Redbridge business leader, for whom ‘nothing was too much trouble’

�Tributes have been paid to the Ilford widower of a Redbridge business champion who was a popular figure in the town.

Ray Woodward, 78, who was married to Julie Woodward, the former chairman of Redbridge Chamber of Commerce, for 53 years, died on February 5 at his home in Courtland Avenue.

Mr Woodward spent most of his working life with Redbridge Council, as well as time spent as a lorry driver and mechanic, and provided “wonderful support and encouragement” to his wife in her Chamber role and other commitments.

Chamber member Linda Porter said: “We were going to make him an honorary life member, something which will not now come about, but hopefully he knew how much the Chamber appreciated his unstinting efforts.

“Ray was there to help and do whatever he could for the Chamber.

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“Just before he died he was taking out diaries for us. Nothing was ever too much trouble.”

Mr Woodward was born in Ireland in 1933 before moving to Ilford where he lived for 53 years. As with his wife, who died in October, he was a lifelong West Ham United fan.

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He was also a rugby enthusiast who enjoyed holidays with his wife.

The couple visited his birthplace of Cork every year. They had one daughter and two grandsons.

Former son-in-law, Frank Davis, 52, of Elm Park, said: “It’s still a shock. I was round there and expecting them to walk in.”

His funeral will take place at the City of London crematorium, Aldersbrook Road, Manor Park, on Monday at 3.30pm.

Only family flowers are requested but donations can be made to Saint Francis Hospice in Broxhill Road, Romford.

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