Tributes to 'much loved' council worker as dustcart leads funeral cortège
- Credit: Mick Howes
A refuse freighter headed a poignant funeral procession through a coastal town as a popular council worker was fondly remembered.
Family, friends and former work colleagues of Tim Lathwell paid tribute to the East Suffolk Council worker as the dustcart he had driven for more than a decade led his funeral cortège on Monday, January 25.
Mr Lathwell 59, died at his home in Carlton Colville, Lowestoft on January 7 - three months after he was diagnosed with cancer.
After becoming unwell in October, Mr Lathwell's son Blanes said: "Dad was sadly diagnosed with a brain tumour in early to mid November, and sadly we found out it was aggressive cancer on December 3."
A father of one and grandfather-of-two, Mr Lathwell was born in May 1961 in Luton where he grew up as the eldest of three children.
He worked for Luton Borough Council and met his future wife Wendy at the Dunstable recreation centre in Luton in 1981, with the couple marrying in Las Vegas in 1994.
Son Blanes was born in March 1996, with the family moving to Lowestoft in 2003.
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Blanes Lathwell said: "Dad realised just how much he enjoyed driving dustcarts when he became a dustcart driver on the refuse team for Luton Borough Council.
"After moving to Lowestoft dad did some agency work driving HGV's and dustcarts for several different companies before eventually joining East Suffolk Council on the housing maintenance team."
Having joined the council in August 2006, Mr Lathwell's main role was clearing out empty council properties utilising his dustcart as a crusher for all rubbish and furniture.
His son said: "This was bought for him specifically for this role so dad and his dustcart were a much loved team at the council, where he stayed until he became unwell in October.
With his dustcart leading the funeral cortège from Dorley Dale in Carlton Colville to Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium in Ellough, an East Suffolk Council spokesman said: “We were deeply saddened by the death of Tim and our thoughts are with his family, friends and all those who knew him.
"We know that he was very proud to work for East Suffolk Council and the least we could do, after a request from Tim's family, was to bring his freighter to the funeral procession.
“His colleagues have said that he loved his job and took great satisfaction in telling family, friends and all, that the freighter was his 'baby' - so it is only fitting that it should be there today as part of his send off.”
Mr Lathwell's son said: "Dad will be greatly missed by my mum Wendy, as they spent 38 years together, myself and my fiancé Danielle, not to mention our two boys Finnlee and Oaklee who greatly miss their gangan!"