PASSIONATE sportsman and family man Ian McKee died suddenly on holiday in Madeira. He was 70.

Ian was born in Recife, Brazil, the only one of Betty and Joseph ‘Jock’ McKee’s four children to survive beyond a few weeks.

He moved at eight to live with his mum’s sister and to attend school in Buxton, where he met his future wife, Rosemary, when he was 16.

The couple married in 1967 and moved to London and then Taunton when the UK Hydrographic Office opened.

Their daughters Emma and Pippa were born in 1972 and 1974.

Ian loved ships and the sea but his hopes of a career in the Navy were dashed by his poor eyesight.

However he enjoyed his life-long career at the UKHO, in particular the time he spent on board the Navy Survey Vessels - the tots of rum were a particular highlight!

Ian’s passions included sport.

He was captain at both Vivary and Taunton and Pickeridge Golf Clubs and encouraged many of his work and football colleagues to take up the game.

He had a very low handicap and arranged group lessons at Vivary and eventually team matches against Vivary Veterans and other organisations.

Ian played football regularly when he was young, scoring many goals, although he had a gammy knee which he strapped up during matches.

He loved watching football and supported Manchester United, who he used to watch when he lived in Buxton.

He also supported Brazil and England, enjoying regular banter with anyone not following them.

He loved to tease people and did so regularly in his mischievous way, always with a cheeky grin and laugh.

Whether it was on the football pitch, the golf course or in the corridors of the Hydrographic Office, Ian’s laugh would often be heard and friends describe him as a genuine man with no side to him – what you see is what you get.

Sadly, in 2000, Ian’s wife Rosemary died after a brave battle with cancer, a devastating time for the whole family.

Ian took early retirement in 2004 and continued to enjoy his sporting hobbies, taking up new interests such as photography and bird spotting, and reigniting old passions such as art, for which he had a real talent.

He also loved to indulge his passion for food and drink and was an enthusiastic and talented chef, often accompanying his cooking with a large gin and tonic!

Ian was a loving son, devoted husband, adored dad and loving companion, friend, neighbour and work colleague to many.

His enthusiasm was infectious and he will be remembered as a genuine, caring, loving man who will be sadly missed.

His funeral is at St George’s Church, Wilton, at 1.45pm on Tuesday, September 9, followed by committal at Taunton Deane Crematorium.

Emma and Pippa ask people to wear “a splash of colour to reflect dad’s colourful personality”.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to St Margaret’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support c/o Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors, 95 Galmington Road, Taunton TA1 5NP.