A PUB landlord who tripped and broke his neck while putting away a box of wine will be “sorely missed” in Shoreham.
Ray Bray, 67, ran the Marlipins pub with his wife Jacki but tragically died in Worthing General Hospital on Monday, August 5, after the accident on the previous Sunday evening.
He was putting out a box of wine for the next day collection late at night and tripped down three steps, breaking his neck.
Jacki Bray, 56, was married to Ray for 29 years and said: “It was a shock, totally unexpected. Ray was larger-than-life and generous, with a warped sense of humour and quick wit and he always had nicknames for the staff.”
Ray and Jacki met while working at the same hospital in Epsom where Ray was a plumber and Jacki was working as a catering manager.
Jacki said: “I lived in the nurses’ quarters and one evening I saw him in there and asked what he was doing. He said he had moved into a padded cell downstairs. I laughed but he said he was serious. His second marraige had broken down and he had moved into one of the converted cells downstairs which were usually reserved for nurses. It made me laugh and we started chatting and it went from there.”
Ray suffered from diabetes which had worsened and he had been semi-retired.
Jacki added: “We loved our cruises, we liked meeting lots of people from all over the world. We were a sociable couple and working in a pub is a very sociable life, that’s why we did it.”
Ray is survived by his brother John and has three children; Gareth, 33, Gemma, 35, and Amanda and two grandchildren, Kyle, nine and Taya, three. Jacki said that Ray was very fond of family and his biggest regret was not seeing his family quite enough because of working in the pub.
Gareth Bray, Ray’s son, said: “We are all in shock, we are pleased he didn’t suffer but devastated he is gone and my sisters are in pieces.
“Dad was fun, out-going and more of a mate than a traditional dad, he was the best wing-man I ever had. He was witty, funny, a tike, and a real cheeky chappy, that’s the kind of character he was.”
On speaking about his memories of his father, Gareth said: “I particularly remember horse riding on holiday in the Dominican Republic. I also remember introducing him to a group of my friends when he randomly produced a hideous-smelling, unlabelled bottle of spirit. The next day my friends all blamed me for their terrible hangovers.”
Gareth added: “He had so much impact on the community of Shoreham, in fact the funeral has taken on a life of its own. We may have to shut the Shoreham High Street at this rate, hundreds of people are expected.”
On the Marlipins’ Facebook page many community members have posted their condolences.
Jacqui Aspinall wrote “Just heard the terrible news my thoughts are with you all, he will be sorely missed”.
The funeral took place yesterday at Worthing Crematorium.