Farm burial fit­ting for a true son of the soil

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OBITUARIES - by Michael DeFroand

Tributes have been paid to a pop­u­lar Bid­den­den farmer who did things his way.

A HUGE gath­er­ing of friends and fam­ily is ex­pected at the funeral of a beloved Bid­den­den farmer on Fri­day.

Dick Of­fen, 80, of Wors­enden farm died sud­denly at home last month.

His funeral at All Saints’ Church is ex­pected to at­tract his many friends, in­clud­ing fel­low farm­ers and mem­bers of the trav­el­ling com­mu­nity with whom he traded horses for years.

His daugh­ter Heather Pass­more said: “We’re ex­pect­ing the funeral to be mas­sive. His death was a hell of a shock to a lot of peo­ple.

“I’ve never seen so many grown men cry.”

Mr Of­fen lived at the farm all of his life, hav­ing been born there, as was his fa­ther be­fore him.

He was one of five gen­er­a­tions of the fam­ily to have at­tended the vil­lage school.

He kept cat­tle, sheep and chick­ens but had a par­tic­u­lar love for horses.

He was a farmer his whole life, with a brief time spent as a fire­man.

He mar­ried Ann in 1957 and had one daugh­ter, Heather.

He leaves his wife, daugh­ter and three grand­chil­dren, Richard, Rhys and Clare, who runs Tas­cara fash­ion bou­tique in Ten­ter­den.

Mrs Pass­more said: “His love was his horses - we usu­ally had about 60 to 80 horses around the farm.

“He at­tended Ash­ford cat­tle mar­ket since he was 14. If he ever missed a week we would get a phone call ask­ing where he was.”

She added: “He was full of sto­ries. We have asked peo­ple to send us sto­ries or mem­o­ries about him. We want to make a book up about him.

“He never had a hol­i­day in his life and he couldn’t un­der­stand peo­ple who wanted one. He never spent more than a night away from here.

“He didn’t like the mod­ern world - com­put­ers, mo­bile phones and traf­fic. He was very tra­di­tional.

“He was hon­est and ev­ery­body loved him.”

Among the guests at the funeral is a Welsh friend of Mr Of­fen’s who will bring­ing down her horse, Buzz, which Mr Of­fen sold her. It will pull the cas­ket.

The ser­vice will be held at All Saints’ at 11.30am, with burial at the farm and a re­cep­tion at the vil­lage hall af­ter­wards.

Mrs Pass­more said: “He will be buried at the farm so that they can still watch us from up above.”

Bid­den­den farmer Dick Of­fen

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