Roger Dove 7th April 1961 – 30th January 2010

From the Parish News – March 2010

Roger and Karen have lived in Denton for thirteen years; few people could have made such an impression on a community in the time. They entered into the spirit of the village instantly, their vitality and generous enthusiasm for life affected almost everybody they came in contact with.

This enthusiasm was the mark of Roger's life, every aspect of his life was tackled with energy and determination whether it was the love of his family, his business, his hobbies, his contribution to the community or his fight against ill health, he would give it his all.

Roger was born you might say as a "surprise package", as he arrived two and a half hours after his twin sister Beverley, their parents Brian and June had not expected twins! The smaller of the two, he had a struggle as a child with jaundice and childhood ailments, but even then the enthusiasm for life which prevailed with him to the very end brought him through.

He and Beverley went to Ditchingham Primary School, and Roger went on to Loddon Secondary Modern where he discovered a passion for music when he joined the Band playing the Eb Bass and later the Trumpet. His father Brian had a joinery business in Brome, Roger helped his Dad with the woodwork and took Technical Drawing as his subject in school, looking to the future as a skill that would stand him in good stead when he joined his father's business. He took a course in joinery at Lowestoft College as part of his apprenticeship and was chosen as Apprentice of the Year.

Another passion he had was for motorcycles; he and some of his friends borrowed their mother's 50cc mopeds and went to Devon. They later supported a local friend by acting as mechanics for him at the Isle of Man TT races. One of the last achievements in his life was to rebuild a Honda 400/4 motorcycle which stands gleaming in his shed to this day. While at the primary school Roger formed a close and lasting friendship with Martin Elvis (Ellie); they drifted apart a little when Ellie went to Bungay Secondary school, but as they both had a love of music they decided to form a band called the "Tree Frogs" which became quite famous in the district and played regularly at Charlie's Bar at Bungay King's Head. It was indeed at this venue that Roger met Karen at a Halloween Party. She was sister to Roy Porter who was a pal of Roger's; she also had gained a reputation as bass guitarist in Zanana, a group which played at the Caxton club in Beccles. It was certainly "love at first sight", and they were married 12 months later at Ringsfield Church; Ellie was Best Man.

For their first two years together they lived in Heckingham, before moving to Heath House, Ditchingham where Matthew and Kathryn were born. In 1996 having heard that Gwen Webster's "Old Dairy" premises might be coming up for sale, Karen phoned the agent every morning for several months to enquire the progress until it was confirmed, and they fell in love with it on the first viewing. Roger converted the buildings to house the joinery business which was moved from Ditchingham following Brian's retirement. The only worry which proved unfounded was whether the isolated rural setting would affect the business. His craftsmanship graces the Village Hall, the School and many houses in the surrounding area

So the Dove family became part of the heart of Denton. Roger joined the Parish Council and also the Alburgh with Denton First School Governors, and in both cases was soon to become Chairman; the "Tree Frogs" came to entertain us with parties on the Glebe Meadow; Roger's technology on the sound and lights for the DVC pantomimes were a great and lasting contribution, with Karen and now Kathryn giving humorous back-up on the stage; Matthew's group have provided music for the Cyder Fest; Roger's rendering of Handel's Trumpet Concerto at a Church concert and the sound of the "Last Post" at the Remembrance Services will live in many memories .

As we saw him battle with indomitable spirit over the last five years against cancer, it seemed too unjust to be true, we are left full of admiration for a man with such a zest for life and such a generous and loving nature. Our condolences go out to Karen, Matthew and Kathryn, June, Beverley and David with Liam and Alice, and his loving "in-laws" Derek and Lily Porter.

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