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Tributes paid to "amazing" man killed in crash with tractor
TRIBUTES have been paid to an “amazing” 95-year-old who died after a car crash.
Second World War veteran George Barker was a musician throughout his life and was still paying viola for the Bournemouth Philharmonic Society before he died in Cornwall on Monday.
The great-grandfather, who lived in Ringwood, taught himself how to make websites aged in his 80s, a period when he also learnt Italian and Latin, on top of already being able to speak French and Spanish.
His daughter Liz, talking from her home in the US, said he taught people 30 years younger than him how to use computers for Age Concern and was given a certificate by the Duchess of York.
“He was such an amazing and lovely man,” she said.
“We had a 95th birthday party in Ringwood this year and his great-grandson Freddie gave a speech saying my dad was an inspiration to him and should be an inspiration to all of us.
“We were all in tears.”
George was on his way to his holiday in Cornwall when his red Skoda Fabia was in collision with a tractor on the A30 in Launceston and he later died in hospital.
The retired engineer was the grandson of John Tiller, who created the Tiller girls.
George played in bands in the North West before joining the RAF as a fitter in the Second World War.
He married Mavis and they had four children, Gordon, Sue, Andy and Liz.
They moved to Ringwood in 1979 and enjoyed retirement together before she died in 2006, after battling Alzheimer's.
Sam Newgarth, conductor at the Bournemouth Philharmonic Society, said George had been their secretary, viola player and webmaster for the past 14 years.
He said: “At his age he was still doing everything like a young person.
“He was still playing every Wednesday at rehearsals and at concerts.
“He was very popular and everybody in the orchestra is very sad.”
Chris Jones, treasurer, added: “He was such a character who always had time for you and was good fun.”
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