Family of former Ely Standard Editor John Ison are raising money for the hospice where he spent his final days

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth - Credit: Archant

The family of former Ely Standard Editor John Ison are raising money for the hospice where he spent his final days to help the charity continue its outstanding care for others.

John Ison, former editor of the Ely Standard PHOTO: Cate Ison

John Ison, former editor of the Ely Standard PHOTO: Cate Ison - Credit: Archant

Mr Ison, 76, was diagnosed in 2012 with prostate cancer but his daughter Helen said it was testament to his strength of character that he refused to be beaten by it for so long.

She said: “He didn’t like being ill and carried on trying to be the same, he didn’t really talk about the illness.

“He was only in the hospice for two weeks so he did not lose his independence for long which is how dad would have wanted it.

“The care given at Pilgrims Hospice was outstanding, you could not fault it, dad enjoyed that he could have a fry up in the morning and a G&T at night.

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth - Credit: Archant


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“He very much wanted to be able to help them continue their good work for other families.

“He was a big presence in our lives, but in a quiet way really, we knew we could always rely on him, always had his support and love.

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“Moreover he was always there to check our spelling - even on birthday cards!

“If you wanted to know anything Dad was the go to person, he just seemed to know so much. He will be sorely missed.”

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth - Credit: Archant

Mr Ison lived and worked in Ely for more than 20 years, editing the Ely Standard for 10 of those. He was mayor of Ely in 2006-7.

During a career that spanned more than 50 years in publishing he built a solid reputation for writing, designing and editing not only newspapers but magazines and handbooks and even at one time a national tourism magazine.

He also wrote a specially commissioned booklet to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Ely diocese.

Mr Ison’s interests during his time in Ely were diverse and substantial. He was also a prolific fund raiser for many local causes.

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth - Credit: Archant

Debbie Davies, who took over from Mr Ison as editor, said: “I was John’s deputy at Ely for five years and have fond memories of him.

“The perfect gentleman and someone who worked tirelessly for the community he loved. He was also supportive and understanding and someone with whom you felt able to share personal problems as well as the work-related.

“He really was the font of all knowledge. There was not a subject that he didn’t know something about and he was always willing to share that knowledge or offer an interesting perspective.”

She added: “He was a great newspaper man and an extraordinary human being.”

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth

John Ison, former Ely Standard editor PHOTO: Adam Smyth - Credit: Archant

Mr Ison retired to Whitstable, Kent, in 2007, but continued to love Ely, where he wanted his ashes scattered.

He is survived by his wife, Cherry, daughters Cate, Anne, Andrea, Rebecca, and Helen (who served as his mayoress), grandsons Jack and David, and rescued greyhound Maeve, who were at his bedside at the Pilgrims Hospice where he died on Saturday.

• The family are holding a private cremation followed by a service to remember his life which is open to all on Tuesday February 14 at 2pm at All Saints Church, Whitstable.

• Donations to Pilgrims Hospice in Ashford. Donate here

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