Chris Prior was an integral part of the St John’s church family for many years, especially in singing in the choir and serving as a Churchwarden. His funeral was this last Thursday and many from St John’s past and present helped to pack out the crematorium chapel for the service. Tim Prior, Chris’ son, shared some thoughts about his Father.
Chris, my Dad, was born in 1942 in Chiswick. His early years involved singing in the choir at St Nicholas, scouting and rowing, being so near the Thames. This love of the river and music he has passed on to all of us, his children, and the grandchildren, and these became a common theme all through his life.
He met Joy, our Mum, at a dance class and they married in in 1964 when they moved to Isleworth. St John’s Church has been a big part of his life – choir and music as well as being involved with events, fundraising and organising. Some of my first words were probably “committee” and PCC! A card from a choir member said “Chris was a lovely man who always made church events go smoothly with his endearing personality and wit.” That sounds like Dad.
He helped with cubs and scouts, (however embarrassing that was for me!), as well as belonging to the Isleworth Society, Hounslow History Society, Friends of Osterley House and had a passion for not only local history but London history as well. The Masonic lodge was an important part of his life, and when he retired he joined the Probus club where he was on the committee as well.
He loved art, filling our house with art books, and enjoyed watercolour painting, an interest he shared with his brother. From 1958 he started his career in local government and spent 34 years’ service with the London Fire Brigade – becoming a Senior Petroleum Inspector.
Mum and Dad were married for 54 years and she was with him when he died at home – this has been a comfort to her and to all the family. Dad very sadly developed a type of dementia in his later years and this has been so very difficult, having to watch the decline of such a strong, caring and capable man.
Any donations in memory of Chris can be made to Alzheimer’s Research UK by visiting www.alzheimersresearchuk.org