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Tributes paid to Lions Club member after life of voluntary work in region

PUBLISHED: 12:41 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:37 20 March 2018

David Woodruff. PICTURE: Courtesy of the Woodruff family

David Woodruff. PICTURE: Courtesy of the Woodruff family

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Tributes have been paid to a dedicated charity man and Lowestoft and Beccles Lion who sent 100,000 shoeboxes of gifts to war-torn Bosnia in 1996.

David Woodruff was described as a “loving, caring man” by family following his death aged 79 on March 11 after multiple health problems.

Born in Lowestoft and a lifelong Ipswich Town fan, David grew up in Beaconsfield Road, before entering the working world as a salesperson for Betterware.

His real passion, however, was in charity and philanthropic work with the Lowestoft and Beccles Lions, where he was a member for more than 45 years, sitting on committees with figures such as Princess Anne and Eddie the Eagle along the way.

David’s son, Jeremy Woodruff, paid tribute to his father. He said: “He was dedicated to voluntary work. He was the sort of person who if he had a pound in his pocket and saw someone in the street with a bucket, the pound would go straight in there.

“He put others before himself, that’s what he lived by. They are the lessons he taught his children and grandchildren.”

He added: “We all just remember him as a very loving, caring man. All he used to give was love to his family and everyone he knew.”

In 1996 David helped organise a shoebox appeal for children in Bosnia and Serbia in Lowestoft, successfully receiving enough gifts from members of the public to send more than 100,000 shoeboxes in trucks.

He would later write a book about his time in the war-torn region, an experience Jeremy said “humbled and moved him.”

In 2002 David rose to the rank of district governor with the Lions, and in more recent years helped organise the Lions’ fun day at Great Yarmouth racecourse and Hippodrome, which attracted more than 200 children and their families, and raised money for Kirkley and Pakefield Football Club.

Beccles Lions said on their website: “Lion David was a member of Lowestoft Lions Club until transferring to Beccles Club a few years ago where he became an invaluable member of the club.

“He will be greatly missed by his wife Margaret and many in East Anglia and further afield, our thoughts are with his family.”

He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Margaret, his five children Chris, 57, Cheryl, 56, Soraya, 53, Samantha 51 and Jeremy, 50, as well as 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The funeral takes place at 2.45pm at St Margaret’s Church on Tuesday, March 27. The family have asked for family flowers only, and for any donations to be made to the Lions Club or to the cardiac unit at James Paget Hospital through Arthur Jary and Son’s funeral directors.

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