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Co-op funeral director honoured in ceremony

A Tamworth Co-operative society funeral director who died last year has been commemorated with a bench honouring his 25-year service to the profession he took up after retiring from the army.

Bill Galvin’s widow, Gladys poured a tot of his favourite whisky over the bench in his memory, after pulling back a drape to reveal the inscription at the unveiling organised by his former colleagues.

Galvin was second in command of the society’s funeral division for a decade and conducted hundreds of local ceremonies. Tamworth Co-op funeral service general manager, Amanda Woodward described him as “her rock”.

Woodward said: “I worked with Bill for 10 years and from the moment we met we got on like a house on fire. I enjoyed every moment of working with him. Bill will never be forgotten. He leaves such a gap in our lives and was a wonderful man. We wanted to do something special to remember him.”

Galvin took up the role of funeral director following his time in the army, after arranging his mother’s funeral and being offered a job at a local funeral home. He joined Tamworth Co-operative society’s funeral division in 2005 as deputy general manager.

Gladys Galvin said: “I will come and sit on the bench because it is such a lovely reminder of Bill. He was a complete people person. He used to lead the funeral cortege with his cane, which I keep in the house. He was really graceful with it. I think it was because of his military background. Many people would ask for Bill to conduct their relatives’ funerals. He called me ‘My Gladys’ and meant everything to me.”

Mr Galvin planned his own funeral with several personal touches including a Scottish piper. His coffin was draped in the Union flag and inscribed with the emblems of his two favourite football clubs, Celtic and Aston Villa.

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