Tributes paid to popular couple killed in A31 crash

Bournemouth Echo: Tributes paid to popular couple killed in A31 crash Tributes paid to popular couple killed in A31 crash

TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular couple tragically killed in a car crash.

Tributes have flooded in for Patricia and Pepe Irisarri, who died when their car collided with two lorries on the A31 east of Bere Regis on Monday evening.

The pair, from Bothenhampton, West Dorset, who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year, were known as people “who couldn't do enough for you.”

Father Richard Meyer, priest in charge of Bridport's catholic parish, said: “The parish is in great shock over the sudden death of Pepe and Patricia who were treasured parishioners.

“A wonderful husband and wife partnership, we so enjoyed celebrating at church their recent golden wedding anniversary.

Our love and prayers surround all the family.”

The couple had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in summer 2012 at the Church of St Mary and St Catherine in Bridport with a special mass.

The Irisarri's volunteered at the Chancery House Day Centre off East Street, where they were known for their cheerfulness and kindness.

“Chancery House was deeply shocked to hear about the tragic death of Pepe and Patricia Irisarri on Monday evening in a car accident, “ said manager Barbara Vousden.

“They have been volunteers at Chancery House Day Centre for many years and nothing was too much trouble, our clients held them in great regard.

“They will be terribly missed and we send our deepest sympathy to their relatives and friends.”

Next door neighbours in Wychside Close Ben and Trisha Wilks said they would often see the couple tending their garden, even in the winter.

Mr Wilks said: “They were a lovely couple who were very active in the local community, and were always in the garden. They were always together and they were very family orientated.

Mrs Wilks said: “They will be sorely missed by everyone. They were always joking and always so happy, and both of them were active. Patricia used to do yoga with me, and they used to go on such long walks with each other.

“They were a lovely couple and will be much missed.”

John and Hazel Tunney moved into their home in the close at the same time as Mr and Mrs Irisarri.

Mr Tunney said: “They were well known in and around the town and were extremely well liked by everyone who knew them. They were very active in the community, and used to volunteer to take a blind man who lives in Burton Bradstock to do his weekly shopping.”

Mrs Tunney said: “They were really lovely people and we always used to share a laugh with them, you would never see Pepe without a smile on his face.

“We couldn't believe it when we were told what had happened, my legs went weak. We were only talking to them on Friday, joking about Christmas cards.

“They kept themselves so fit and they were both still young in the mind.

“It's such a tragedy.”

The couple met in the early 1960's through the Catholic church in London where they were both living.

Pepe, who comes from northern Spain, who was then at university, later worked for British Rail and was a surveyor on the Property Board.

Patricia, whose family are from the west of Ireland, worked for the Aer Lingus airline office in London, a job she gave up when the couple had children.

They lived for 40 years in the same house in the Harrow area of London and moved to West Dorset ten years ago.

They leave three children and six grandchildren.

Police appeal

Police are renewing their appeal for witnesses and anyone who may have seen any of the three vehicles involved prior to the incident which happened at about 5.20pm on Monday evening east of the Red Post at Winterbourne Zelston.

It involved two HGVs travelling eastbound and the yellow Seat Ibiza car travelling westbound.

Witnesses are asked to contact Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number i09344.

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