Come rain, come shine, Roger Stone was a regular cyclist on most days between the village and Didcot. But the familiar site of Roger on his bicycle is now a closed chapter. He died recently at his home in Saxon’s Heath from pneumonia after suffering from cancer. He was seventy-seven.
Roger was born and raised in Long Wittenham and lived with his parents, Jean and Harold, in Fieldside before moving to a property in the High Street and later to a flat in Saxon’s Heath, following the death of his mother.
Close family friends Jacqueline and Waynne Armstrong, and Wendy and Bill Sellwood, who all live in Fieldside cared for Roger. They did his shopping, washing and ironing, took him to the village church cinema, the cinema in Didcot and boat trips in the summer.
The Davis family were also close friends of Roger. Adam Davis said “My parents helped Roger move from Saxon’s Heath to his flat after his mother’s death. They cared for Roger when he needed help, repairing his bike when he got a puncher, general maintenance and decorating his flat many years ago. My parents continued this support and provided him with a Christmas meal every year until they themselves got too old to do so.” Roger had no family remaining.
Mrs Armstrong said: “Roger was a private person, seemingly recluse, but when you got to know him he was a kind, warm-hearted friend. He was well known to many villagers. He was known as ‘smiler’ and considered a bit of a legendary figure”.
For many years Roger worked at a local egg-packing business. He also worked as a cleaner at Dalton Barracks in Abingdon and later at the Culham Science Centre. His funeral will take place at 11am on Wednesday 2nd December at St Mary’s Church.
Thanks to Jacqueline Armstrong for the photograph.