Beverley Steger-Lewis

Beverley Steger-Lewis

21/9/1936 - 11/11/2007

Beverley was always extremely generous in thought and deed, and this was the essence of his character. He always enjoyed playing the host and welcomed everyone into his home. He and Valerie always had an open house for our friends, no matter how late or inebriated we were! He was truly liberal (with a small 'l') and open-minded. This generosity could be observed in all areas of his life, not just family matters, and we have been told of his willingness to take on extra work to help out colleagues who found themselves under pressure.

His marriage to Valerie was very much a marriage of equals which, though not always fashionable, involved all decisions being discussed and agreed by them both; a true partnership. Valerie's decline hurt him far more than his own medical problems ever could.

He was very proud of his children and keen to encourage and support us in whatever we chose to do. He would offer advice when appropriate but always left us to make our own decisions and was there to help if things went awry.

He enjoyed the 'good things' in life; fine foods and wines (snails and oysters being particular favourites); socialising; dancing. His outlook was 'work hard and play hard'. He was good at making things, from a children's climbing frame, swing and seasaw, to a kitchen, workshop and house extension. The adventurous 'have a go' type, even to the point, on one occasion, of assisting in the arrest of a suspect who was fleeing from the police.

Forthright in his views, he was more than happy to take part in lengthy, even heated, debate on matters political and moral, business and sporting. If he hadn't been such a 'moral' man he might have done well in political circles, but deeply moral he was, always doing the 'right' thing regardless of the inconvenience or cost to himself.

He was very active in the community, founding and chairing resident's associations and neighbourhood watch committees, and the annual tea-parties he hosted for many years in Southsea are the stuff of legend.

Positive and upbeat in the face of adversity, of which there was plenty in his later years, he always retained a great sense of humour, only strained beyond breaking point when England beat his beloved Wales at rugby union.

He struggled at first in the role of grandfather but learnt quickly and became a doting grandfather to his four grandchildren, who brought great joy to his final years, despite the immense pain he was suffering.

A 'charmer' to the end, he (and his daftly amusing Christmas gift packages) will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.