Funeral cortege of Exmouth RNLI ‘hero’ Don Hodgkinson to pass lifeboat station

The funeral cortege of a long-serving and much-loved Exmouth RNLI volunteer is to pass the town’s lifeboat station so friends and colleagues can pay their respects.

Don Hodgkinson, who worked tirelessly for the charity for 24 years, died on June 12 following a short illness.

He was known lovingly as the ‘grandfather of Exmouth Lifeboat Station’ and has been remembered for his ‘exemplary’ efforts for the cause.

Don’s funeral will take place on Friday, July 2.

The cortege will pass Exmouth Lifeboat Station, in Queen’s Drive, at 1.15pm.

An Exmouth RNLI spokesperson said: “Members of Don’s family would welcome anyone who knew Don and who would like to pay their respects to line the route of the cortege at that time.”

Tributes were paid to Don following his death.

Former Exmouth RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Riley said : “Don was a hero to us. Exmouth RNLI and Exmouth and its thousands of visitors will, I am sure, acknowledge Don as the very quiet and unrecognised hero of Exmouth in his own right.

“With all that he has done to leave a legacy unknown to many for silently raising the funds that allow the crew to ‘save lives at sea’.”

Current lifeboat operations manager Ian Taylor said: “Don was always the friendly face at the station, welcoming newcomers, and tirelessly working away at the fundraising to keep the station operational.

He added: “He will be sorely missed by all the crew and all he came into contact within the wider RNLI team, and also the wives, husbands and partners of us all who were given the welcome cheer.”

“To the grandfather of Exmouth Lifeboat Station – thank you and rest in peace.”

He started with the charity as a box secretary in June 1998 before becoming deputy launch authority and sea safety advisor from 2003 to 2011.

Don then served as boathouse manager from 2011 and became chair of the fundraising team in 2007 – a post he held for 11 years.

His dedication to helping save lives at sea was recognised in 2018 when he was awarded the RNLI Badge and Certificate for completing 20 years of service.

Tributes to ‘grandfather of Exmouth Lifeboat Station’ Don Hodgkinson

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