An Eastbourne businessman who ‘put the gentle in gentleman’ has died after a two-year battle with cancer.
John Bernard Morley passed away at the age of 79 at his Hampden Park home, which he shared with his wife Shirley, on March 15 surrounded by his family.
We loved him because he was our family but everyone else loved him as well
Mr Morley ran Morleys Moving and Storage, which has been a family business in the town since 1885.
It was started by Henry Morley who put the first horse drawn removal wagon on the road.
Henry was then joined, after the war, by his two sons Alan and Bernard Morley
John Morley was the third generation to run the company when he and Shirley bought it in 1972
Morleys recognised that moving home was stressful and wanted to help people through their difficult time.
John Morley retired when he was around 70 and sold the goodwill of the business to Gosden Removals
John was married to Shirley for nearly 59 years and the couple had three children together – Robert, Debbie and Lisa.
He was also a grandfather to nine and a great-grandfather to two.
He is also survived by his three sisters Barbara, Pat and Margaret and brother Bob who all live locally.
He was a keen golfer at Eastbourne Downs Golf Club and a sponsor of Eastbourne Borough Football Club. He was involved in the setting up of Pevensey and Westham Football Club and enjoyed bowls at Langney Bowls Club.
Mr Morley was a long-time member of the Eastbourne Constitutional Club before its closure in 2008 and a Mason at the Kymer Lodge in Peacehaven.
Mr Morley’s involvement in business and sports around the town made him a well-known and well-liked member of the community.
Wife Shirley told the Herald she had been ‘overwhelmed’ by the response to his death.
She said, “I have had so many cards and people are just pouring in and sharing their memories of him.
“We loved him because he was our family but everyone else loved him as well.
“The response from people who knew him has just blown us away.”
She added, “He was so kind and generous – he would give his arm away.”
Son Robert added, “He always acted with honour and integrity and was a thoroughly decent man.
“He had morals and he always did things quietly.
“He didn’t need a stage or recognition for his kindness and he didn’t need to surround himself by the winners in life.”
Mr Morley’s daughter Debbie said, “Someone said, ‘he put the gentle in gentleman’ and I think that just sums him up perfectly.
“So many people have been so upset to hear about his death.”
Mr Morley’s funeral will be held on April 2 at Eastbourne Crematorium at 11.30am.