Former March printer Jim Samuels has died at the age of 75.
At his funeral last Tuesday, he was described as living a life “packed full and with great enthusiasm for eccentricity”.
Married to Maureen for 28 years, Jim was a former member of the March Lions and well known in the town. He spent several years as the town’s Santa and had a spell as vice-chairman of March Brass 2000.
Jim organised concerts at St Peter’s Church, the proceeds being distributed between the church and the three doctors’ surgeries in the town.
“A big hearted friend to many, raconteur, champion of local issues, father, grandfather and happy husband to Maureen,” his eulogy read.
Father-of-three Jim was born in London and did his apprenticeship in printing at the Financial Times and was a freeman of the City of London. After doing his National Service in the RAF, he moved to Essex, later moving to March in the mid 1970s.
Heran his own printing company – Two Em-Press – in the town for around 25 years until he retired.
Jim was known for making aid trips to Romania in his Landrover following the downfall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Maureen remembers when he first decided to organise the trips and said nothing would deter him.
She said: “He thought about it today and it was done immediately.”
The couple enjoyed caravanning and travelled around the UK and Europe. They were also involved in Victorian reenactments. Maureen said Jim was the “perfect Victorian gentleman” and he was cremated in his Victorian clothing.
Jim made several TV and radio appearances over the years, appearing on BBC’s The Weakest Link and Bargain Hunt. He was a regular on the Jeremy Vine Show and one show was even broadcast from his motorhome at the BBC studios in London.
Jim enjoyed the works of Rudyard Kipling and “If” was read at his funeral at his request.
Jim had been ill for some time and had worked out all the details of his funeral before he died. Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” was also played at the service at Fenland Crematorium.