A FAMILY has paid tribute to their husband, dad and granddad who died after a fall in the garden.

Donald Edward Kerby was born and bred in Oxford’s Great Clarendon Street, Jericho, to Hilda and Jack Kerby on March 23, 1928.

He passed away at Abingdon Community Hospital on May 5 from pneumonia following a fall in the garden of his Kennington home in which he broke his leg.

The 85-year-old, a grandfather of four, was also suffering from dementia.

A highly skiled Morse Code transcriber, Mr Kerby served with the Royal Signals during World War Two and, after VE Day, went on to serve in Palestine and Cyprus.

After leaving the army, he returned to Oxford where he worked for Oxford University Press before moving to Nuffield Press in Cowley.

He worked as a guillotine operator cutting piles of paper to be made into books.

The books made were mainly car instruction manuals for the neighbouring Cowley car plants Morris Motors and Pressed Steel Company.

It was at Nuffield Press in 1951 that he met his future wife Ruby Portman who worked across the yard also at Nuffield Press.

The couple were married in St James Church, Cowley, on July 18, 1953, after Mr Kerby plucked up the courage to ask for Ruby’s hand while walking her to the bus stop.

The pair moved to Bagley Close in Kennington and had two daughters – Linda Burge, 42, and Sue Clerk, 58.

Mr Kerby worked at Nuffield Press for almost 40 years.

In retirement he threw himself into his passion for photographing Oxfordshire’s wildlife and landscapes.

He sent countless stunning images to the Oxford Mail which were regularly featured on the letters pages.

Always keen to get the perfect picture, Mr Kerby would often go up in a light aircraft from fields near Wallingford with friend Bill Sherlock to take photos of Oxfordshire from the air.

His wife of 60 years said: “I miss him. We just enjoyed each other’s company. He was a quiet man but we used to go out for meals together or go into Oxford to go to the libraries.

“I miss him terribly – he was always there.”

His funeral was held at Oxford Crematorium on May 14.

His daughter Sue Clerk said: “He was a reserved man with a very dry sense of humour.

“It was a shock when he died because he was just pottering around in the garden.

“I remember holidays in Cornwall with him and my sister and even then he was always trying to get a good photo.”