'Thank you all for coming' - Taxi man Mike pens own humorous eulogy

Michael Smith of Great Yarmouth who has died.

Michael Smith who has died aged 76.He wrote his own eulogy where he describes his approach to meeting 'the grim reaper' and his frustration at not having enough time to learn Russian. - Credit: supplied by family

A Great Yarmouth man has come to the end of his colourful life and had the last word at his own funeral.

Michael Smith, 76, known as both Mick and Mike, was well-known in the town for his involvement with Swift Taxis.

Writing his own eulogy, he said he had seen other people die suddenly and wanted to be more prepared.

Michael Smith of Swift Taxis Great Yarmouth who has died aged 76.

Michael Smith in his Merchant Navy days which saw him travel across the globe to New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East among others and rising from cabin boy to captain. - Credit: Supplied by family

He described how he had had a good life and didn't want to die but was "aware of the disadvantages of old age".

Making a series of humorous puns he said he was speaking "live" and was thinking "inside the box" for a change.

He said he was not a religious man but mused that the Viking heaven of Valhalla would be his preferred next stop, given the choice.

While hailing the love and support of his "fabulous" family he also urged them to forget about him and go for the cheapest funeral possible.

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Mr Smith was born in Great Yarmouth in 1945, and stayed in the town he was proud to call home.

His parents were publicans and he and younger brother Phil were raised in local watering holes.

He began his working life as a cabin boy in the Merchant Navy and travelled across the world. He was later a barge engineer and offshore installations manager - writing a book about his time at sea.

In 1989 he went into partnership with Tony Boyne creating Swift Taxis in St Peter's Road.

After several moves they ended up at Gapton Hall, becoming a huge success with their growing fleet.

Mr  Boyne died in 2010 of cancer. Mr Smith continued  working in the business until three years ago.

Although work was important, family was his priority after meeting wife Carol at the Floral Hall, now the Ocean Room.

They married in 1966 with their first child Andrew born a year later, followed by Joanne and Jeanette.

They went on to have ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren whom he doted on.

His funeral service described him as having a lifelong love of boats, an adventurous spirit, and a love of learning. He was also "a true family man".

In his eulogy he asked for his ashes to be scattered at Gorleston, adding: "Now go home and forget me as I am just another speck of dust in the grand scheme of things."