TRIBUTES have been paid to a devoted family man who always put other people first.

Funeral director and accomplished organist Barri Dodgson, 77, from Knutsford, went out of his way to help everyone.

The dad-of-two was taken to hospital after falling ill whilst on holiday with wife Ann at their caravan in the Cotswolds.

He passed away peacefully with loved ones at his bedside.

Barri took over the family funeral business, Dodgsons of Knutsford, in 1973 and bought George Bell Funeral Service in Northwich nine years later.

Son Damian, 49, who has a twin sister Auriel, said: "He always had time for people. He would go out at 3am and sit with a family for hours talking to them when they lost a loved one.

"He never sat still. He was big chap and had lots of energy.

"He immersed himself in his work."

Born in South Wales, Barri, a chartered chemical engineer, moved to Knutsford after marrying Ann. The couple celebrated their golden wedding two years ago.

"Mum and dad were completely inseparable," said Damian, who took over the business eight years ago. "They worked together and were madly in love with each other.

"Wherever you saw mum, you always saw dad."

Avid musician Barri was organist of Knutsford Parish Church for 45 years and led the Good News Singers Choir, performing in cathedrals and churches for 25 years.

He also played at Lower Peover and Warburton churches and, for the last seven years, at Knutsford Methodist Church.

"Apart from his family, the organ was his great love," said Damian. "His greatest pleasure was playing at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall."

Barri Dodgson playing the organ

Accomplished organise Barri Dodgson

He even took organ music on holiday and was delighted to play in Sydney Cathedral, Dunedin, Melbourne, Newfoundland and Jerusalem.

"He loved to travel with mum and enjoyed a cruise and visiting wonderful places like the Antarctic and Arctic," said Damian.

"He ended up buying himself a Rolls Royce when he retired. He absolutely loved it and was very proud of it. The business was a big success thanks to him.

"We never took him for granted. We counted our blessings having him reach and enjoy his retirement. He filled his life with his passions.

"We have so much to be thankful for."

Barri was past president of Knutsford Rotary Club and a member of Rex Probus Club and classed Knutsford as his home.

He had two grandchildren Olivia and Gemma.

A service of thanksgiving will be held at Knutsford Methodist Church at 1pm on Friday, October 29.