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News > In Memoriam > RIP John Wheildon

RIP John Wheildon

Remembering John Wheildon (Class of 1972).

It is with enormous sadness that we record the death of Old Princethorpian, John Wheildon, on 23 February 2022, after a short illness bravely borne.

The Wheildon family is inextricably linked with Princethorpe. John’s elder sister, Mary, was at St Mary’s Priory in the 1960s and his children Emily, Peter and Michael are all past pupils, as indeed was his wife Marie’s brother, Stephen Calnan.

Born in 1954, Bernard John Wheildon grew up in the Warwickshire village of Kineton, where his father owned various properties and was a pillar of the local community. John joined Princethorpe College, where he would have been one of the first boys, who in 1966, transferred to the new school from St Bede’s College in Leamington. On leaving, in 1972, having been Deputy Head Boy, he returned to Kineton where he ran Greenhill’s Stores for some years and Mary had the florist shop next door! In later years he made a change of direction into horticulture and landscaping.

His faith and his family were absolutely central to his life. Sunday was his day of rest: Mass at St Francis of Assisi Church in Kineton – where he had been an altar server - followed by coffee with friends, roast dinners, watching sport, or walking through National Trust gardens. He took part in the liturgical celebrations, involving his own family and assisted the parish in its development and growth. He received the Ubi Caritas award in 2017 for his dedicated service to the parish of Kineton for so many years.

John was never far away from sport; he was a competitive tennis and basketball player at school: the perfect team member with his innate humanity, generosity of spirit, keen humour and fairness. He was also a member of Warwick Boat Club, where he continued to play tennis up until last November and where he was well known and feared for his thundering serve!

John also skied, hiked, camped and relished swimming, surfing and snorkelling in the sea. In fact, any game, be it croquet, Mahjong, Uno or beach boules he could turn his strong hands to – and always with success. The highlight of all this would be a drink, a barbecue and jovial chat afterwards. He was also enthusiastic about travel.

Often seen with a paintbrush in hand, John was a fount of knowledge when it came to the practical things, such as gardening and property maintenance, or anything mathematical and he was keen to pass these skills on to others.

John very much died in a state of grace, ready to meet the Lord he knew and served so well. He died knowing how greatly loved he was and so proud and thankful of Marie and his family for their love, strength and faith. He was kind, popular, of impeccable integrity and respected immensely by all who knew him.

We send heartfelt condolences to John’s family and friends and give thanks for his life.

Bernard John Wheildon: 27 February 1954 to 23 February 2022. A Requiem Mass, celebrated by Father David Tams, was held on Friday 4 March 2022, at St Francis of Assisi church in Kineton, followed by burial at the Sun Rising Natural Burial Ground at Edgehill.

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