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Senior St John member dies, aged 60

PUBLISHED: 18:50 30 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:09 14 July 2010

Tributes have been paid to a senior member of Norfolk's St John Ambulance movement, who died suddenly at his home at the age of 60.

Paul Boatman joined the brigade as a paid trainer in Norwich 15 years ago and later became the commissioner for the south west area of the county.

Tributes have been paid to a senior member of Norfolk's St John Ambulance movement, who died suddenly at his home at the age of 60.

Paul Boatman joined the brigade as a paid trainer in Norwich 15 years ago and later became the commissioner for the south west area of the county.

His ex-wife, Sandra, spoke of her shock after the charity worker, who dedicated his life to first aid, was found dead at his home in Attleborough on September 16.

She said the father-of-three's death had been totally unexpected, although he had suffered a heart attack six years ago and had made a full recovery.

The couple moved from Essex to Norfolk in 1994 where Mr Boatman joined the Norfolk branch of the St John Ambulance as a trainer and area staff member.

The first aider joined the brigade as a youth member and became an employee of St John in 1992 after 26 years working for BT, where he was actively involved in first aid training.

His ex-wife said: “Paul touched many lives, and he leaves many friends. He will be remembered for his drive, enthusiasm and great sense of humour and fun. He will be deeply missed.”

Mike Skinner, deputy area commissioner for south west Norfolk, said: “It was a huge shock. He seemed to be very fit, he did not drink or smoke and he was a picture of health. People have been distraught at the news. He was an inspirational leader for south west Norfolk and led by example,” he said.

Mr Boatman was recently invited to London to receive a Royal Accolade after being admitted as a serving brother of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

His funeral will take place at Carbrooke Church at 2.30pm tomorrow.

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