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Tributes paid to funeral director and RAF squadron leader

PUBLISHED: 11:19 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:09 30 March 2020

Tributes have been paid to Tony Blyth. He is wearing the unbuttoned jacket, right of centre. Pictures: supplied by Mark Blyth

Tributes have been paid to Tony Blyth. He is wearing the unbuttoned jacket, right of centre. Pictures: supplied by Mark Blyth

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Tributes have been paid to the owner of family business, Blyth and Sons funeral directors in Sheringham.

Tributes have been paid to Tony Blyth, pictured on the far left. Pictures: supplied by Mark BlythTributes have been paid to Tony Blyth, pictured on the far left. Pictures: supplied by Mark Blyth

Tony Blyth, who was also an RAF squadron leader and part of an air display team, died at home in Sheringham on March 17, aged 77.

When his father was killed in a car accident, he abandoned his university plans in order to help his mother with the family business.

Joining the RAF in 1961, he was a captain at 23, and made his first squadron tour at RAF Scampton flying the Vulcan.

He was part of the Jet Provost air display team known as `The Macaws’ at RAF Manby, and in 1972 he appeared on the front page of The Times flying in formation over the Olympic stadium in Munich. As a qualified flying instructor, he flew the Vulcan in numerous aerobatic displays.

Tributes have been paid to RAF squadron leaderTony Blyth. Pictures: supplied by Mark BlythTributes have been paid to RAF squadron leaderTony Blyth. Pictures: supplied by Mark Blyth

He retired from the air force as a squadron leader in 1981 and, returning to Sheringham, took over the management of Blyth & Sons Ltd.

Looking to expand the business, in 1983 he acquired Lloyd Durham’s Funeral Services in Kelling and later Canler and Son in Fakenham and ST Sutton Funeral Directors in Wells.

His commitment to Sheringham Lifeboat Station was officially recognised by the RNLI and he was also a long-standing member and president of the Cromer and Sheringham Rotary Club.

He married Kay Duffield in 1967 and they had two children, Nichola and Mark.

Tributes have been paid to Tony Blyth, the owner of Blyth and Sons, pictured.  Pictures: supplied by Mark BlythTributes have been paid to Tony Blyth, the owner of Blyth and Sons, pictured. Pictures: supplied by Mark Blyth

After Tony and Kay separated, he met Pam Dickinson and they married in 1993. She died of cancer in 2011.

In 2019 he married childhood girlfriend, Janet Hall. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2019.

His son Mark said: “He met his cancer diagnosis with dignity and fortitude, two qualities that he maintained to the end. He celebrated his last Christmas with his family around him and was gratified to know that Mark and Nichola would continue to run the family business. He passed away at his home of 40 years on Vicarage Road with Janet by his side.”

He is survived by Janet, Mark and Nichola, and by Pam’s daughter Helen.

Tributes have been paid to Tony Blyth. Recognition from the RNLI. Pictures: supplied by Mark BlythTributes have been paid to Tony Blyth. Recognition from the RNLI. Pictures: supplied by Mark Blyth

Tributes have been paid to Tony Blyth, pictured on the right. Pictures: supplied by Mark BlythTributes have been paid to Tony Blyth, pictured on the right. Pictures: supplied by Mark Blyth

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