The Pellett family has lost another of its larger-than-life characters with the death of Peter, who lived in Ringwood Road, at the age of 78.
He was the younger brother of Don, who died recently, and though eleven years apart they were born on the same day - June 12 - and remained close to the end.
Born in Sidley they were part of a large brood with eight children, and Pete worked as a painter and decorator for Don’s builders business for most of his working life.
His family say that Pete, who was unwell with breathing difficulties, was so shocked by the news of Don’s sudden passing that he had to go into hospital where he stayed for two weeks before dying on Sunday July 14.
Pete leaves behind - apart from sisters Maureen and Marion, known as ‘Mog and Madge’ - his daughter Jenny, and sons Nick and David, plus eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
David said: “The last night at hospital when he knew he wasn’t going to make it but was still awake, he shared a couple of pints of John Smiths with us around the bedside, and we left the ward looking like we’d had a right party.”
They paid tribute this week to “a proper old school dad” who seemed tough on the outside but had a golden heart and would do anything for them. “My dad was a big strong tough man,” said Jenny. “He used to shout a lot but underneath he was as soft as anything, and we could all get round him. He was funny - always laughing and joking. He had a real sense of humour - in the bleakest of times he would still be having a laugh.”
David added: “He brought us all up to be smilers - to just get on with anything. He was unforgettable.”
Pete was also known locally because of his footballing ability; he was a star player with the school team at Bexhill High, and then Bexhill Town where, managed by Don, he enjoyed the success of winning the Sussex county league in 1966/67.
His ability to play was even more remarkable because as a child he had an accident which left such a bad hip injury he was in plaster for two years.
Pete was offered the chance to join Millwall FC in his late 20’s but reckoned he was too old to make a go of it, as he had married Carol, and they had started their family, living in Turkey Road.
The funeral is on August 4 at 12.15pm, and afterwards Pete’s Party at the Cooden Beach Hotel - all are welcome.