Family of well-loved former March pharmacist overwhelmed by messages of support following his loss
The family of a popular former March pharmacist say they have been humbled by the huge number of messages, texts and flowers they have received following his death.
Bill Kalsi, who ran Selby and Taylor pharmacy in Dartford Road with his wife Sushil from 1990 until his retirement in 2008, has died at the age of 63.
His family, Sushil and sons Maninder and Manmeet, have been overwhelmed by the support and wonderful comments about Bill following news of his death on October 11.
Maninder, who now runs Selby and Taylor opticians from the his father's former pharmacy premises, said: "It has been a great comfort to us to receive so many messages and texts about Dad and the things he did to help people.
"He was a very humble man, and he had a great love for the community - he would always do whatever he could to help people.
"He regarded his customers as friends, whether they visited the pharmacy only once or every week. He was good with names and just loved being part of the community and it is a great comfort to know that the community loved him in return.
"After Dad retired I would regularly get stopped in the street by people asking after him, it was very heart warming and it was always nice to hear stories about him from the people themselves, just as it has been to read them in the many messages we have now received."
Bill was born in Nairobi, Kenya and moved to the UK to study pharmacy at the University of Brighton before going on to own pharmacies across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire one of which was called Selby and Taylor in Stevenage - a name he and Sushil kept when they moved to the Fens and opened their March business.
Bill met Sushil in Brighton and they ran a number of businesses together including the March pharmacy, where Maninder and Maneet would also help out with cleaning and delivering prescriptions as they grew up.
Bill enjoyed many hobbies not least piloting a plane and he loved flying family and friends to destinations around Europe.
He also enjoyed golf and he sponsored an annual tournament for 15 years at March Golf Club and Selby and Taylor opticians has continued that tradition.
Bill also took on the maintenance of a small square of land outside the Selby and Taylor premises that was owned by Fenland District Council but was poorly maintained and used as a litter dumping ground.
He planted it with flowers and looked after it keeping his little area of March attractive to passers-by. Again Selby and Taylor still looks after that patch of ground.
As a result of his adoption of that piece of land Bill through Selby and Taylor went on to sponsor the business category in the Citizen's annual March Gardens Competition and enjoyed taking part in judging the entries.
Bill and Sushil moved to Huntingdon after his retirement to be closer to his family.
Bill's funeral is on Monday (26) and the family are hoping well-wishers will line the streets as a mark of respect as the funeral procession passes through the town starting at Cassanos at 12.10pm, where Bill used to enjoy lunch and meet with friends while he was working in the town.
The procession will continue through Broad Street and will pass Selby and Taylor at around12.15pm and then on to Fenland Crematorium for a private family funeral.
Maninder concluded: "Dad raised us to be humble and to remember our beginnings, to look where we had come from and the journey we have made to get where we are. He helped me and Manmeet on that journey - both he and mum supported and encouraged us in our education and career choices.
"He is going to be very missed by the family, but we have taken comfort from the community and we are grateful for their love and support at this difficult time."