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Son’s fitting tribute to father who died on way to work
4:32pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
Duncan Manns’ son led his funeral procession at the wheel of a bus in honour of his 45-year-old driving fanatic father.
Mr Manns died on the morning of February 14 after becoming ill as he drove to his job as a bus driver.
The Faresaver bus, which Kierin, 23, drove ahead of the hearse from their home in Marshall Street, Chippenham to Ladyfield Road church, bore Duncan Manns’ name and the dates of his life in place of the destination, with ‘Dunc’ written in lights on the back.
Kierin, a fellow Faresaver employee, said: “My dad was a hard-working man, he worked long hours just to provide for his family.
“The genes of a driver will carry on in me. I hope he’s looking over me, I might need help on my next test. He was a hero to us all and he’s left behind the greatest mum.”
Friends and family paying their respects on Thursday afternoon arrived to the upbeat ska song A message to you Rudy by The Specials. All speakers told of a man who worked hard for his family and would do all he could to help anyone.
Margaret Goodman, aunt of Mr Manns’ partner Donna Kennedy, said: “If ever you were in trouble, if your car broke down or anything like that, you’d ask Dunc – Dunc would never say no.”
She told of how he and Donna got together 28 years ago, when Donna sent her cousin Merisa Trent over to him at a disco in Corsham to tell him she fancied him.
Their second son Kyle, 20, said he had become very close to his father and spoke of the sci-fi and comedy programmes they watched together. Kyle said he was looking forward to reading many of his dad’s favourite books, particularly those of Terry Pratchett.
He said: “While physically he’s gone from us, there are still many things that remind us of him and will give us happiness.”
Mr Manns’ mother-in-law Shirley Kennedy said: “His bosses have been so good to the family, we couldn’t have wished for a better firm.
“They’ve let my grandson Kierin have time off to help his mum.”
Family friend Richard Garrett told of how he got lost trying to drive 57 foreign exchange students from Heathrow airport to Notting Hill and immediately turned to Mr Manns for help.
He said: “He was brilliant. He stayed on the phone for 45 minutes to make sure I got there.”
David Beard, who hired Mr Manns at Faresaver, said: “You could always rely on him, as a friend and as a company. He was a great bloke.”
Cousin Anna read Ellen Brenneman’s poem His Journey’s just begun and religious readings were given by Jonathan Brain.
The coffin was carried out to Fairytale of New York.