Family members pay tribute to devoted Barry couple
FAMILY members have paid tribute to devoted Barry couple Bob Kemp and Jenny Newland, following the inquest into Bob's death last week, and Jenny's funeral on Tuesday (January 29).
Cardiff & Vale Coroner Mary Elizabeth Hassell heard at the inquest how 62-year-old sales manager Robert, known as Bob, of Heol Gwethyd, had died at the University Hospital of Wales on July 7, 2012, after falling over a low wall at Sully Sports and Leisure Club while attending a civil partnership ceremony on June 30.
The coroner, recording a narrative verdict as found by a jury, said the circumstances were unclear, but she believed an inadequate level of lighting was a factor.
Bob died of a brain injury caused by a spinal fracture, and Jenny died of cancer earlier this month - with her family saying she simply could not get over her partner of 29 years' death.
The couple were well known in Barry, with Bob a double-glazing sales manager on Church Road, and Jenny a hairdresser for 37 years and owner of Hair By Jenny on Barry Road. Bob, who grew up in Rhoose, was the only pupil from his school to pass his 11+ at the time and go to Barry Grammar School.
He worked for Tanner & Son milk suppliers and Windmill Kitchens and was a member of Barry Arts, playing Mr Bumble and having a role in South Pacific as well as other productions.
He went on to found the Junior Section of the Barry Arts Centre and would do the quiz for the Alan Evans Club. He was a keen golfer, playing at St Andrews and Wenvoe, and enjoyed a flutter on the horses, and a passion for travel - a love of which he shared with Jenny whom he met at the Ship Hotel.
He also played skittles, turning out for the Buff Exiles and Park Geest.
Daughter Rachael Saddington, 44, said: "Nobody could have disliked him. He loved family get togethers, he was a joker and the life and soul of a party.
"William Hill's profits have gone down since his death! He used to do 50p each way. We used to ring him on Grand National Day to say to put a bet on for the kids."
His brother Andrew Kemp, of Arno Close, added: "He was a real character - he was popular with everybody."
Bob's kidneys and valves were donated for transplantation. Jenny's children Emily Booker, Leon Richardson, 39, and Jason Newland said the couple's main focus was family and friends, as well as travel and attending entertainment performances.
Emily, 42, said: "Bob used to take ages to do anything and mum would say 'get on with it'. "They were very proud people, they were together all the time. He was mum's rock."
Bob's death deeply affected Jenny, who - when struck by cancer - declined in health over Christmasand died at the age of 62 at the University Hospital of Wales on January 11, shortly before the inquest.
Jason, 33, said: "She always used to say she didn't want to be a burden.
"She kept saying 'I've got to be there for the inquest'."
Emily added: "They are together now - I know that 100 per cent."
Bob and Jenny are also survived by grandchildren Ben, Adam, Georgia-Leigh, and great-grandson Gethin-Rhys on Bob's side; and grandchildren Luke, Saskia, Louis, Bradley, and Jack.
* Anyone who would like to share photographic memories of Bob or the couple, can email Rachael at firstname.lastname@example.org