Graham Sapsford 1949 – 2014

Graham Sapsford 1949 - 2014
Graham Sapsford 1949 – 2014

Graham was one of the founders of the Friends and had previously been a member of the Parochial Church Council. He was also responsible for setting up our original website.

A former teacher and educational adviser, Graham and his wife Annette’s association with Mersea Island began in 1976 when they bought their first boat which they moored at Mersea.  Eventually in 1985 the family moved to their present home in Mersea where the whole family enjoyed many years of travel and adventure on various boats.  In 2007 Graham bought a half-share in a 36ft sailing cruiser named Collette and, with her co-owner Chappie, famously completed a circumnavigation of Britain assisted at various times by members of the family and many of their friends from Mersea who joined them on the way round.

A member of West Mersea Yacht Club, he taught RYA navigation courses here for nearly 20 years and progressed to becoming an RYA Yacht Master Examiner. Graham also held positions of Sailing Secretary and Honorary Secretary at the Club.

Graham and his family were also regular attenders at West Mersea Parish Church and Graham became a member of the Parochial Church Council. He played a key role in the setting up of the Friends of West Mersea Parish Church including the creation of this website and assistance with many of the technical aspects of our events.

During the last 3 years Graham’s health unfortunately declined rather rapidly forcing him to give up his share of Collette and discontinue most of the activities that gave him purpose.

In April 2014 following extensive examinations at Papworth Hospital he was deemed suitable for a heart transplant and in the early hours of 22nd September was informed of the availability of a suitable heart. Following the operation Graham became increasingly poorly and although fighting on for five weeks he eventually succumbed to multi-organ failure. He died peacefully and pain free in his bed at Papworth Hospital with his wife, son, daughter and daughter-in-law by his side.

Graham had a great zest for life, was always humorous with the ability to laugh at himself. He contributed in many different ways to our local community and has enriched the lives of many of us with his friendship and happiness. He will be sadly missed.