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Eynsham Village News

Charles Allan Caine (1930-2010) 1 Mar 2010 Thanks to Brian Atkins for this first obituary.

A native of the Isle of Man to which he returned after his wife Pam died, he was known to his Manx family by his middle name, although he was always Charles to us in Eynsham. He, Pam and their three children, came to live in Thornbury Road in 1966. Later he and Pam moved to Chesneys, and later still to Lane House which they built in Chesneys back garden.

He made many contributions to the life of the village. In addition to his Chairmanship of the Parish Council in the 1970s, of the Bartholomew School Governors and of the Carnival Committee, he had a major role in the creation of the Sports Pavilion, and especially in Chairmanship of the team which raised £180,000 for the restoration of St Leonard's in the 1980s. Aware that it was unreasonable for each second generation or so of villagers to stump up large sums of money to restore the fabric of the parish church which had been neglected for too long, he set up the Friends of St Leonard's, a secular charitable organisation which raises funds to help the PCC to maintain the fabric on a regular basis.

He was a sociable man, fond of entertaining. Even after he gave up tobacco and alcohol himself, he was ever ready to provide them for his visitors. He remained addicted to The Times cryptic crossword. An accomplished pianist of classical music, until arthritis affected his fingers, he provided the music at several village functions.

A mathematical physicist, popular tutor and Fellow of St Peter’s College, he loved the collegiate life. He would regularly enjoy a game of bridge with colleagues before lunch in the Senior Common Room. He was also a member of the University Estates Committee, the annual visits to tenant farmers appealing to his convivial nature.

Latterly his short-term memory loss became increasingly distressing for his family and friends, but he, well aware of the problem, typically made light of it. His end, mercifully quick, took the form of a fatal stroke.

A memorial service in his college is being planned for 1 May in St Peter's College.

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