TRIBUTE has been paid to ‘true Island boy’ John Vrettos.

Barry Island resident, John Vrettos, passed away suddenly on Christmas Day, four days after a successful operation.

Ahead of his funeral, which will be on January 25, his brother, Phillip Vrettos, and wife, Tina Vrettos, have paid tribute to him.

Their tribute, shared on Barry Island Historical Group's Facebook page, states: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a true Island boy John Vrettos.

“John was born to parents John and Monica Vrettos of Clive Road Barry Island. John was the eldest brother of Gaynor, Phil, Nic and Michael who sadly passed away at an early age.

“John attended Barry Island infants and Junior school and proudly captained the Island School's Cricket Team for three of their most successful cup winning years during the early sixties.

“John then graduated to Barry Boys Grammar school and, on finishing school, was taken on as an Apprentice Carpenter with Barry Council. After two years with Barry Council John was able to switch his apprenticeship to another employer (C. H. Bailey Ltd., Barry Dry Dock) and finished "his time" as a woodworker/shipwright.

“John often recalled his time working with some of the many local characters in the Dry Dock, as some of the happiest, and occasionally most challenging, times of his working life.

“During this period John met his forever wife Tina and the couple would often be found enjoying the lively social scene that at that time Barry and Barry Island had to offer.

“John and Tina went on to become the proud parents of Renee and Simone and, after a short spell of living in Barry Dock and Barry, returned once more to live on Barry Island which John had been determined to do from the day he had left!

“Over the years John and Tina were blessed with three beautiful Grandchildren Tia, Izabella and Loukas which John doted on and they shared many happy times including holidays in this country and abroad.

“When Bailey's Dry Dock closed, John went on to have various jobs.

"He worked in Dry Docks in Hamburg and Poland, but some of his most memorable times were spent at sea carrying out sea going maintenance and repairs on various cruise liners and ships. A particular achievement he was very proud of was being part of the highly skilled team that laid a new dance floor on the world-famous QE2.

“Adapting with the times, John changed tack and, working with some of his many friends, he started working at erecting suspended ceilings and partitions. John enjoyed this work and worked in Germany and all over the UK and Ireland until an injury prevented him from being able to carry out this work.

“John then took up taxi driving and for his latter working life drove taxis in Barry and Penarth.

“During his life, John forged a great circle of friends, and the friends he made as a boy remained treasured friends for life. Many a happy pint was shared among the raucous laughter of a mis-bowled skittle ball, or someone’s new Christmas jumper!

“He also had great compassion and was there to lean on and assist wherever he could and, for all of us, he will be sorely missed.

“In these unprecedented times we cannot celebrate John's life as he would have wished. That will have to wait for another day...

“John's funeral is scheduled to take place on January 25 (time to be confirmed)."

For those hoping to pay their respects and say a silent goodbye, full details of his funeral will be shared once they are finalised.