The funeral service was held on Monday 17th May at GreenAcres Chiltern.
Due to limited capacity (venue restrictions due to social spacing), attendance was by invitation only, however a video of the service is shared below along with personal tributes.
In lieu of floral tributes we invite you to donate to a charity close to John’s heart – the Otakar Kraus Music Trust – which provides music therapy for people of all ages with physical, learning, neurological or psychological difficulties.
My husband Geoff & I go back a long way with John being part of our history in the 70’s in London. There was always a lot of fun & laughter when he was around & played the piano beautifully which I enjoyed listening to. His sense of humour & unique quirkiness will be sorely missed.
Rest easy old friend, Anna & Geoff Fanning
I remember well my very first sight of John. I had not long turned up at Brasenose College and I was lost in a sea of public schoolboys wearing lounge suits or blazers and slacks. One day I joined the queue for lunch and in front of me was another “longhair” – with an earring! We fell into conversation and John became part of a small bunch of slightly wayward friends whose interests and lifestyle were a little out of the ordinary for BNC. John was in and out of my life for the next 50 years, and every time we got together I was pleased to find that he had retained that sense of mischief that always made him good and exciting company. The photo you chose for this site captures that mischief beautifully, he kept it all the way through, even when the hair wasn’t quite so long any more. You will be sadly missed mate.
Thank you for all the support you have showed our family over the years. Every celebration, every family meal, every family gathering- not to mention trivial pursuit- you were there with a cheeky smile, a trick up your sleeve and lots of funny stories- we will miss you and your wonderful smile.
This is John’s older half brother Mike and due to WWII I was raised by godparents down in Kent. For some reason Dad kept me a secret that John didn’t learn until I had moved to America and couldn’t be found. I remember Dad’s second wife, Eunice, John and Sally as infants, and also Gran and Grandpa and Aunt Olive, who were all in on the secret. But our lives went different ways, and although Dad kept in touch with me he never did tell my half siblings.
Eventually Hattie was searching Castelbergs on the internet and I turned up. For close to fifty years we were apart and so have not spent much time together with an ocean between us. I have grown to know and love John as only brothers love, and I discovered a true kindred spirit. We had so many traits in common; love of music, the classics, being outdoors, travelling abroad, telling stories, joking…. Surely nature wins over nurture.
I am so sorry to have lost what we only found so late in life, but I will always be grateful for the times we did spend together.
Rest in peace brother, and I’ll see you again somewhere down the road.
Working with John was a memorable experience, he was particular, quirky, very funny and a real storey teller!
Friday afternoons John would pop round to the team and tell us all one his jokes, or share with us the odds of the Grand National!
John interviewed me and gave me a chance despite my experience at the time and I will always be very grateful! I will always remember the good times at KCHA!
Thank you John and may you rest in peace.
So many happy memories and sadly, another empty chair at family meals from now on. John was always a fun guest and revelled in mischief. “Walks” in Richmond Park with Leigh and John were something of a misnomer. John’s idea was to walk for 5 minutes, stop for coffee, walk another 5 mins, stop to look at the view. We will miss the laughs, the quizzical mind, the words of wisdom and the cold coffees. Above all, we will miss John. He was simply one of a kind.
Being John’s colleague and flat sharer at the same time could be tricky…..but most of the time it was loadsafun…sometimes excessively and dangerously so…we always knew the python boot was too tight…but some of us felt that life was but a joke…hope you’re still rocking on now the hour has gotten late….FS
I met John as Leigh’s partner (which I can’t quite believe was over ten years ago). I loved his dry sense of humor and especially admired him for putting up with the sometimes endless horse chat, the annual visit to Badminton involving a seven mile trek around the Badminton course (no mean feat!) and the annual Christmas get together. He was John – happy to be there and always with a twinkle in his eye.
We first met way back in 1966. You were living in Chorlton cum Hardy, Bob Dylan would have been playing in the background, possibly Phil Ochs. Our paths crossed again in our early twenties. I was your brother in law for a while. Jefferson Airplane would have been playing in the background.
I am pleased we met again after all those years of exchanging cards and promises. We talked and talked of those earlier days.
You hadn’t changed. The smile and humour were still in abundance.
Sorry I can’t make it today.
Dave, my husband, met John on a Civil Service training course in the early 70s. We both immediately warmed to his quirky, mischievous sense of fun. Later we became firm friends and he and his girlfriend Caroline joined us on many holidays. We would rent a cottage, within walking distance of a decent pub and spend time playing complicated card games and walking in the countryside or along the beach.
John was a graduate of Brasenose College Oxford, and a dab hand at handling a punting pole, but he was always down to earth and fun to be with, amazingly good company.
On one visit, we were almost thrown out of Tate Liverpool when John saw the funny side of what was meant to be a ‘serious’ arty film. He had Dave, myself and my three kids in hysterics, doubled up in laughter, whilst everybody else looked at us in disbelief.
Well John, I hope you and Dave have met up again somewhere, and are sharing another pint and a good story.
We met nearly 42 years ago when our daughters were babies. I always thought John resembled John Peel ! He was a constant part of our family in the years of our daughters growing up to teenage years and we have so many fond memories of our times together. Our epic trip to DisneyLand Florida and all the usual Florida attractions. Boston and our search for anything to do with New Kids on the Block! Our incredible drive to Key West. Really was a momentous trip and I have great memories of laughing so much with John. He was always such fun. Although we hardly saw each other over the last 30 odd years, I always intended to have one of our get togethers with Hattie and Caroline and Lily and Holly as we had done before and I feel saddened that we missed that chance.
Rest in peace dear John
Hazel, Lily and Holly
Paul and I met John as Leigh’s partner many years ago. We’d meet up at the Mango Tree Thai restaurant and would spend many hours putting the world to rights. John had a wicked sense of humour and was a gentleman in the true sense of the word. He will be sorely missed.
I was excited to be meeting my dear friend Leigh’s partner for the first time all those years ago … and delighted to discover John! A man I found to be full of kindness, with that mischievous twinkle and infectious grin.
Conversation was always fun, subjects flowed, every angle examined, ideas explored and the absurd uncovered. I have so many memories of dinners, films, theatre, gigs and trips away for Big Birthdays. They will all stay alive in my memory, and I feel privileged that John grew to be my dear friend too.
I met John in 1958 at St Thomas’ primary school Stockport . We both sat at the back of the classroom . John was in the back row and I was one desk in front of him.
Memories -one day John said that he had noticed a girl , from another school , going home and he wanted to find out where she lived .
So , after school we set out to find and follow the girl . She turned into a long tree lined road. We moved slowly , John in front , stopping at each tree to hide , then after peering round the tree to check she still had her back to us ,we moved forwards to the the next tree.
I lost touch with John after we left primary school.