THOMAS Edward Noel Parry (known as Noel) was born on December 19, 1930 at Pontypool in Wales to Stewart and Peggy Parry, the middle son, with older brother Don and younger Gerald.

Stewart was a bank clerk. Noel grew up in Abergavenny and played cricket and rugby for his school, and cricket for East Wales.

Noel was a Christian and attended Frogmore Street Baptist Church in Abergavenny where he was baptised in 1947.

Noel was called up for National Service in May 1949 and served in the Royal Army Education Corps, joining the Second Battalion Parachute Regiment in Aldershot in December 1949.

He trained as parachutist and played rugby and boxed for the battalion.

Noel met June Croucher at Aldershot Baptist Church in 1950 and they married in 1954.

Noel attended St Paul's College, Cheltenham, where he trained as a teacher from 1951 to 1953 along with brother Don.

Here Noel and Don played rugby and cricket for the college, and Noel also played water-polo.

Noel taught at Naunton Park Primary School in Cheltenham from 1953 until December 1961.

Noel and June had three sons; David, Andrew and Kevin and, while living in Cheltenham, Noel and June were members at Salem Baptist Church where Noel was a deacon and sang in the choir.

Noel and family moved to Torrington in December 1961 when Noel was appointed deputy-head at Torrington Primary School.

Noel and June were members at Torrington Baptist Church where Noel was treasurer and Sunday School Superintendent.

He played cricket for Bideford, Littleham and Westward Ho! Cricket Club.

Noel was Head Teacher at Parkham Primary School from April 1968 until April 1975 whilst still living in Torrington.

The family enjoyed camping holidays in tents and caravan.

Noel and family moved to Lapford when he took up the headship at Lapford Primary School in April 1975.

He lived there until late 2019.

Noel very much enjoyed activities at Lapford Football Club with sons Kevin and Andrew and was involved in School sports and Christmas shows. He also re-started Lapford Revel.

He joined St Christopher's Singers, and Noel and June were active in Lapford Congregational Church where Noel was Treasurer then Secretary.

He was also involved in the local Bible Society and Christians Together in Lapford.

Noel says he was grateful to see his sons married, and he enjoyed being a granddad. His grandchildren enjoyed being pushed around by grampa in his wheelbarrow.

Noel retired in July 1991 and joined the Lapford Garden Club and Bowls Club, and was chairman of Lapford Day Centre.

He wrote histories of Lapford, and of Lapford Congregational Church.

Noel's wife June was diagnosed with cancer and suffered radiation damage from her treatment, and suffered increasing health problems as a result; eventually dying in Noel's arms in February 1999.

Noel refers to the unexpected joy and delight of loving and marrying Beryl Wraight on August 11, 2001.

"All the love and fun we've had since. So blessed by my children, grandchildren, so many friends, choral singing, and Exeter Male Voice Praise".

Noel also referred to the joys of local football, Welsh Rugby, and bowls.

Noel had been a lay preacher both in his time at Torrington, and later when he moved to Lapford. Noel and Beryl moved to Follett Road in Tiverton in 2019.

Noel wrote to his sons: "I've had a wonderful life, such happiness. On my gravestone I'd like engraved 'Life was such fun'."

Noel died aged 92 at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on March 18, having spent time with all his family.

He will be sorely missed by wife Beryl, sons David, Andrew and Kevin, partners Lyn, Alison, Juliette, Julia, Grandchildren Claire, Nathan, Matthew, Lewis, Briony, Jonny and Jess and great-grandchildren Travis, Mia, Coco and Sebastian.

Noel was buried on Tuesday, April 11, at Lapford Congregational Church Cemetery followed by a Service of Celebration at the church, which was packed full.