8th Worthing Sea Scout Group
S.S.S. Osprey - Royal Navy Unit 59
www.8thworthing.org.uk
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Francis (Frank) Guy Heavens

5 November 1924 - 23 January 2018



The address read by The Reverend Barry Nichols at Frank's funeral:

Frank Heavens was a Worthing man born and bred. He lived here all his life, indeed he lived in the same house for nearly 60 of his 93 years.

Frank left school quite young and became an apprentice motor mechanic. But he was ambitious and soon realised that to get anywhere he would need qualifications. So, he went to night school and successfully trained to become a draughtsman – a career in which he spent his whole working life.

Initially he worked for Alan West, a company in Brighton, but after a time he was made redundant and then got a job in Lancing with the company that became Link Miles and he stayed there for the remainder of his career.

However, he didn’t lose his skills as a motor mechanic and he was immensely useful in repairing and servicing the cars of family and friends. It was to be a long time before he could afford a car of his own but he was a familiar sight in Worthing bombing around on his motorbike in his oilskin coat and cap (no helmets in those days!)

Towards the end of the war, when Frank was in the Navy, he met Molly who was in the ATS and they married soon after the war ended. Initially they lived in the family home with Frank’s parents.

It was not long before Trish was born – Trish, better known to some of you as Pat, their only child, became the apple of Frank’s eye, and she remained that throughout his life. He was very proud that Trish was the first member of their family to go to University. And he was immensely proud of his grand-children and great-grand-children.

In the 1980’s Molly developed Multiple sclerosis and Frank cared for her at home until 1997 when he had a stroke and Molly had to go into a home. Molly died at the turn of the millennium on 1 January 2000.

The sea has had an important influence his life and the 8th Worthing Sea Scouts were at the heart of much of his activity. This group was large and active and Frank became Group Scout Leader, a role in which he continued well into his maturity.

Many a weekend and most of his annual leave was spent taking the Sea Scouts on sailing holidays. Many of his scouts grew to love the sea and ended up in the navy or with the sea as an important part of their careers.

Neville Goddard, has known Frank for almost 70 years, the first 30 of which were in connection with his dedicated work with the 8th Worthing Sea Scout Group. Neville has said that, “in particular, Frank was always there providing guidance and support for me and for many others during our adolescent years. Later on, in the ’60s and ’70s, Frank did a marvellous job as Group Scout Leader of the 8th Worthing Sea Scouts, the largest Scout Group in the country, supporting all us Leaders fulfilling our various roles.”

In a card, another ex Scout has written, “Frank was always held in high regard as a Scout leader. The truly positive effect of his influence over the lives of many young men will never be fully known.”

Frank was amazingly interested in everything, including modern technology – he wanted to try everything which came out. Early on he got a computer and was an early user of email– he had a twitter account before his grand-children and a Facebook account. He was always ahead of the game amongst his contemporaries.

He was very interested in the history of Worthing. He tried to learn German and was interested in Germany, and although he didn’t have a great facility for languages, he made up for it with his enthusiasm. He always kept up to date with what was going on in the world; he was very interested in current affairs.

In the 1997 Frank had a stroke after which he couldn’t speak and couldn’t walk. But he had an amazing determination to get better and after many months he achieved a full recovery.

Then in January 2016, he had another stroke and his life became more restricted as he never fully recovered.

And now at the age of 93 he has passed from this life into the hands of God.

We mourn Frank’s passing, and we give thanks for his long life, for his caring as a father, grandfather and great grandfather and for his friendship.

We give thanks that his suffering is at an end and that he is now at peace.

Christ, by his resurrection, has shown us that death is not the end, but a passing from life here towards life in the new heaven and the new earth which John the Divine foresaw in his vision which was read as our lesson today. We don’t completely understand the afterlife, but what we do know is that it is not the body which continues but the soul. That is the essence of the individual, the things that make us tick. For Frank it was his love for the sea and his enthusiasm for passing on that love; it was his inquisitive mind always trying new things; it was his love for and his pride in his family and his caring for his friends; it was his generosity of spirit.

And so, we give thanks for Frank’s life and we commit his soul to God. May Frank rest in peace and rise in glory.


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