Funeral of Whitchurch stalwart to take place
A well known member of the Whitchurch community has died.
Sam (Rupert Joseph Lucas) Eccleston, died peacefully in Greenfields Care Home, Whitchurch on April 6, aged 89.
He was the only child of printer Rupert and Elizabeth Eccleston.
Educated at Rossall School in Lancashire, Sam followed his school life with military service in Egypt before returning to co-manage the family print business alongside his father in 1952.
The local newspaper Whitchurch Herald was an Eccleston family legacy and under Sam’s guidance, the newspaper’s influence and its general printing and commercial stationery business, steadily progressed.
In 1974, the newspaper passed from the Eccleston family, who had been connected with the local weekly since its inception in 1869, to Thompson Organisation.
From a young man, he played a significant part in the Rotary Club, serving for 65 years, and throughout his life was an active member of several clubs and associations. These included Tilstock Cemetery as a Trustee, governor of Sir John Talbots School, Whitchurch Freemason, Edgeley Park Trustee and an avid Whitchurch Cricket Club member.
He was a skilled sportsman and devoted over two decades to coaching children, teens and adults, passing his love of sports onto the next generation of players.
A passionate rugby player, he was President of Whitchurch Rugby Club for 20 years and assisted in raising funds to create a larger clubhouse with greater facilities in line with the Club’s growing success.
He also wrote and published The History of Whitchurch Rugby Club depicting the club’s history since its inception.
He married Margaret Henri in 1954 and the couple had four children together. Sam is survived by his wife Margaret, son Andrew and daughters Jan Wynn and Sarah Gothard, his second daughter, Lynne Downes, died aged 37. He was grandfather to 10 grandchildren and great-grandfather to three great grandchildren.
His funeral is being held at St Alkmunds, Whitchurch on May 1 at 3pm with a private family committal at Tilstock cemetery. Refreshments for mourners is at Whitchurch Rugby Club.