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News > Passing of friends > Updated Notice of the Passing of Alan Chippington (1958G)

Updated Notice of the Passing of Alan Chippington (1958G)

"His charm, easy manner, and ability to do so many things well, will be missed by all who knew him."

In January we received the sad news that Alan Chippington (1958G) had died peacefully in his sleep on 30 October 2023. 

The whereabouts of his passing (Guérande) and the details of his life after Bishops remained a mystery until we tracked down classmates, Peter Wallach (1958G) and David Carter (1958G), who were able to fill in the gaps. 

ODU President and school friend, David Carter, remembers his time with Alan at school:

Alan and I first crossed paths at Micklefield in 1947, before both moving to the Prep in 1949, which was almost like today's equivalent of '13 years'.

We were part of a close-knit group from the Sandown, Jameson, Silwood roads area, who remained tight throughout our school years. Alan, perhaps the quietest and most responsible among us, had a lovely sense of humor. Sharing the same house during our school and college years was a joy, with Alan being a fun and participative buddy.

He excelled academically, and was also a very skilled cricketer. (I must mention that I did manage to outdo him in rugby, though there is a photo of the DCPS U10 rugby team with both a very young Alan and David.)

Alan and his beloved Diana always enthusiastically participated in our later reunions, staying with us on two occasions, and were incredibly generous with their support. His sense of humor remained unchanged even at 78, during our last reunion, just as it was when we were 8-year-old kids.

Peter Wallach was able to give us a wonderful insight into Alan's life abroad.  He sent us the following fascinating write-up:

After leaving school (class of 1958 G), Alan went to live in Ealing, London where there were several members of his extended family,  and studied, I think, as a Chartered Accountant.

From there he moved to Brescia in Northern Italy where he spent several years helping various local manufacturers with their anglo markets. 

He had a great gift with languages, so much so all the locals thought he was Italian, but felt he was from another region.

My wife and I visited him there in 1969, and in the car to his home, he was chatting to us in his very urbane and relaxed English style, when he stopped at a tollbooth and suddenly he was talking a very animated Italian with plenty of hand movements, then turned back to us as urbane as ever.

After several years, he returned to the UK and shared an Old Vicarage near Oxford with his sister Gail and her husband at the time, the MP  John Redwood.

During this period, he  married Diana Pratt, a New Zealand lady  whom he met on a long distance flight while she was working in Geneva.

They continued to live in various places in England, until they decided to move to France, settling in a splendid house  in Kerozan, Guérande (a medieval town located in the department of Loire-Atlantique, and the region of Pays de la Loire, Western France), where a whole party of us attended a magnificent celebration for their Fete des 0's  (2010, Alan's 70th and Di's 60th).

All this while he had a variety of business interests, including working as an agent for Wolf tools, plus fingers in several other pies, mostly industrial, and including companies in the UK.

His French of course was impeccable - both he and Di spoke it well.

After Brexit they bought a small home in Kent, England but the arrival of Covid made it a place they didn't get to much. Meanwhile they decided to downsize, and were a couple of years into building a new seaside retirement home in Piriac-sur-Mer fairly close to their Guérande  home.

I was musing about how most of our class, now all in our early 80s, were all beginning have lots of medical problems, while Alan continued life in good health, living like a 60 year old and still  playing golf, whilst he and Di (who sang choral music choir) continued extensive travelling in France, Italy and even further afield (including the 2018 class reunion).

I felt very envious of his health -  then Di phoned me to say he had died in his sleep - a great shock to us all.  This occurred in the early hours of Monday October 30th, and his funeral was on Saturday November 4th.

He has an elder brother, John (1955G), his sister Gail, and another sister, Bunty, in New Zealand whom Alan and Di visited often.

His charm, easy manner, and ability to do so many things well, will be missed by all who knew him.

Diana, Alan's wife, had the following to say about Alan's connection to Bishops:

He was an avid reader of all ODU communications and we had the great pleasure of being at the 2018 Bishops reunion in Cape Town for his class of 1958.

Our sincerest condolences go to Diana, his friends and the extended family.

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