Tragedy deepens for cancer-hit coach operator as wife dies suddenly
PUBLISHED: 14:48 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 07:46 12 September 2018
Norfolk coach operator Charles Reynolds has hailed as a great comfort the “incredible” number of messages from well-wishers following the sudden death of his wife.
Mr Reynolds, who is receiving treatment for cancer, said his wife Julie died in the James Paget Hospital on Thursday following a short illness.
She was 60-years-old.
The couple, he said, had had a “rollercoaster” year following Mr Reynolds’ bombshell cancer diagnosis and the subsequent heartbreaking sale of his fleet of coaches last month.
And in the days leading up to her death he said he was unable to visit her because he was also in the same hospital, his immune system compromised by cancer.
He said his wife had played a huge role in the company.
MORE: Head of Norfolk’s oldest family-run coach business bids tearful farewell after cancer diagnosis
After leaving Martham High School (now Flegg Academy) she worked as a receptionist For Jack and Nora Bishop, the then owners of Seacroft Holiday Centre at Hemsby.
Describing it as a “very happy time” she successfully interviewed for a position as an air hostess for Air Anglia, then run by Wilber Wright, until it became Air UK.
The couple knew each other from the local pub but met up again at Great Yarmouth Races in 1983.
Their relationship blossomed and in April 1984 they were married at Winterton Church, a village that Mrs Reynolds and her family had lived in for many years. Their daughter Emma came along in July 1985.
After leaving Air UK, she became more involved in Reynolds Coaches becoming a director in 2007 with a focus on tours and excursions.
MORE: ‘My heart says carry on but my head says take it easy’ - Norfolk coach firm to close after cancer diagnosis
Mr Reynolds said: “It was a role she loved doing, with groups and customers returning year after year, no task or assistance to customers however big or small, was ignored, and she enjoyed great success at this.
“Her most recent and probably most cherished role, much to Julie’s absolute delight, was when we became grandparents, first of all in 2016 with Cleo and again in 2018 with Lenny.”
Mr Reynolds said he was stunned by the amount of messages from well-wishers, adding: “It really, really helps. People have been so kind.
“I feel strong at the moment because I have so much to do for Julie.
“I am sure one dark night in the middle of winter it will come along and hit me with a bang.”
Mrs Reynolds leaves her mother Barbara, husband Charles, daughter and son-in-law Emma and David, and grandchildren Cleo and Lenny. The funeral arrangements have yet to be confirmed.