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Tributes paid to selfless father who died after family lunch at pub

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Peter Cook died after a surprise family lunch at a Stanford Dingley pub on Sunday

“IF YOU measured the success of someone's life by material things, you would say he had failed, but he was a millionaire in the amount of love and respect that he had gathered from people."

Those are the heartfelt words of Speen resident Kym Marsh, paying tribute to her father Peter Cook who died following a family lunch at The Bull, Stanford Dingley, on Sunday.

The family have sent particular thanks to the staff at The Bull who showed the “utmost compassion, support and understanding” during the traumatic time.

Mr Cook, aged 81, had been at the pub with Ms Marsh and one of his other daughters, Amanda, along with two of his grandsons, his granddaughter-in-law and great granddaughter, when tragedy struck.

Mr Cook excused himself to visit the toilet and, when he failed to return, staff unlocked the door to the disabled cubicle to find him in need of medical assistance.

Ms Marsh said: “I chased through the pub screaming hysterically. It was complete chaos and disruption for the whole of the restaurant. People were just out having a nice Sunday lunch.

“My daughter-in-law and my granddaughter Isabella were really distressed. The staff took Isabella off and amused her, they offered us drinks, chairs, blankets, cushions. There was medical equipment everywhere... it looked like a scene out of some horrendous disaster movie, but they didn’t bat an eyelid.

Ms Marsh said that the staff were very comforting. “We created complete disruption and there was no sense that they were concerned for their business.

“It was just incredible the support they offered, the compassion and understanding...when my son tried to pay they said don’t worry about anything. We are just so grateful.”

Two ambulances and a rapid response car attended, and police closed the road to ensure that the emergency vehicles could enter and exit.

Mr Cook, an active member of St Mary’s Church, Speen, died in the ambulance before reaching hospital.

“As a family we are devastated by the loss of his constant love, support, guidance, his humour and ever-present, twinkling blue eyes,” said Ms Marsh. “He was one of those characters who didn’t blow his own trumpet, constantly behind the scenes giving and caring.

“Having three daughters, he was always there for us. Never one to create a fuss, he was always happy and smiley. He would always do the right thing.

“The world has lost a great man.”

He is survived by his three daughters, Kym, Christine and Amanda, eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

A card written collectively by Mr Cook’s grandsons said they were “ truly blessed to have a granddad as wonderful as you. You are a rock and if we can go through life with half as much dignity, patience and caring as you manage, we will be doing all right.

“All our love, the boys.”

Mr Cook will be buried with his late wife Rose Margaret, who died following a battle with cancer in 2005, at St Mary’s Church, Speen, on Friday. A funeral service will be held at noon to which all are welcome to attend.

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