12:00PM, Friday 03 March 2017
A wife has paid tribute to her husband, a prominent member of the British Legion, who passed away suddenly.
Malcolm Bristow, 84, died at home in Woodlands Park on Wednesday, February 15.
His wife Valerie said he had an undiagnosed blood clot that travelled into his lungs.
He had a history with blood clots but thought he was clear of the problem.
Valerie, 72, said: “It was a normal day. We had lunch, he went upstairs and I heard a loud bang.
“When I got upstairs, he was already dead.”
On retiring from his job as a carpet fitter, Malcolm’s strong work ethic saw him take a sales job at a furniture store.
“He didn’t think he would be quite as good as he was at selling. He eventually retired at 73,” said Valerie.
Malcolm had helped Valerie through two diagnoses of breast cancer and she described him as a placid man who never lost his temper.
“Not like me,” she laughed, “but I probably wouldn’t be here today if he wasn’t there to support me.”
Malcolm was the chairman of Woodlands Park Royal British Legion for nearly 20 years.
He and Valerie had been together for 44 years and had lived in their house in Foliejohn Way, Woodlands Park, since 1978.
Valerie proudly displayed a collection of thank you cards and letters sent from soldiers stationed at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan after Malcolm helped with a campaign to send shoebox hampers out to the troops.
She has a cabinet full of photographs of their son Christopher and four grandchildren.
Valerie said Malcolm, a Reading FC season ticket holder, would take them to watch the football as often as possible.
“He took them to watch Reading play Manchester United in January; it was their last outing together,” she said.
Valerie also has two sons and five grandchildren from a previous relationship.
She added: “Malcolm loved going to the races and we used to go to Ascot quite a lot.
“He would have been 85 next week.”
Malcolm’s funeral is on Monday at Reading Crematorium.
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