THE FAMILY of a popular and well respected community stalwart are to celebrate his life.

Sam Shone (PHF) of Pen-y-Ffordd died peacefully on Saturday, aged 90.

His family have told the Leader that Mr Shone had lived a full and fruitful life and had contributed to numerous causes and organisations over the years.

His wife Maureen Shone, 88, told the Leader: "He worked at Aerospace in the canteen. He started as a kitchen boy and worked his way up to catering controller, having responsibility for 5,000 meals a day.

"He was responsible for all functions and cooked for royalty, the prime minister and dignitaries from abroad.

"Sam loved every minute of his life and every day was a full day for him.

"He said if he had to do it all over again he wouldn't change anything and he loved his work. There's not many people who could say that."

Mrs Shone explained her husband had been very involved in the community, having served as a community councillor and chairman of both Pen-y-Ffordd Community Council and the Pen-y-Ffordd Institute.

In addition to being a dedicated Rotary Club member, he had also served as a governor at three schools in the village and was a founder member of the Pen-y-Ffordd and Penymynydd bowling club.

He was also very proud to have received the Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) Award, the highest Rotary Club commendation which can be bestowed.

Mrs Shone added: "We had a very happy marriage. When you look back at all the happy memories you've had and you ask yourself where the years have gone - it only seems like yesterday.

"He used to call bingo for the over 70s at the institute. He didn't like playing but he didn't mind calling - until one day we were all waiting for the next number and he'd dropped off to sleep!"

Her husband had also found time to craft model ships, a hobby which Mrs Shone said was 'the love of his life'.

Mr and Mrs Shone, who married 69 years ago, had four children; 55-year-old Steven, 53-year-old Debbie and 51-year-old Wynne.

Their son Jimmy, a PT instructor in the Welsh Guards, died 11 years ago aged 54.

The couple also fostered 37 children over a period of years - an experience Mrs Shone described as challenging at times, but rewarding.

Mr Shone was also a much loved grandfather to six and a great grandfather to 11.

Debbie Shone told the Leader: "He lived a full life and would help anyone.

"He was always interested in new schemes and ventures with regards to the village.

"He was a fine upstanding figure of the community and was a very sociable person who liked a laugh."

She added that after speaking with the Pen-y-Fordd Institute she was very pleased to discover committee members had held a minute's silence in her father's name this week.

Mr Shone's funeral will be held at Pentrebychan Crematorium on May 31, at 10am, followed by a funeral reception at the Millstone in Pen-y-Ffordd.

Mrs Shone told the Leader she wants to make the occasion a positive celebration of her husband's life.