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Norman Baillie, who ran more than 100 marathons for charity in just 30 years, has died aged 83
The funeral of Norman Baillie, a prolific charity fundraiser who ran in excess of 100 marathons for good causes while living in Bushey, has been held near his retirement home in Lincoln.
He leaves four children: Barbara, Peter, Robert and Catherine; three grandchildren: Emma, Leanne and Serena; and four great grandchildren, Robert, Nicholas, Shannon and Olivia.
He is also survived by two brothers, Eric who lives in Swindon and Jeff who lives in Doncaster.
Norman was born in Glasgow on August 7, 1930, but he moved south when on his National Service at the age of 18. He clearly enjoyed the disciplined army life because on demobilisation he joined the RAF and worked in the officers’ mess in bases throughout the country for many years.
It was at one posting that he met and fell in love with his wife to be, Lillian. They were married in 1952 and eventually settled in Scottswood Road in north Bushey.
Norman became well known in the area working at Cape Universal Claddings in Tolpits Lane, Watford, and as a painter and decorator, which had been his father’s business back in Scotland.
He started running when he took part in a 10k organised by the Watford Observer in 1984. He became a familiar face pounding the district’s streets in training for his charity runs and clocked up 106 full marathons and countless half marathons and 10k runs.
Norman had long curly hair and when he took part in one marathon in Bolton a TV reporter approached him and told the watching audience, "now I’m going to interview a young lady". That couldn’t spoil his enthusiasm however.
He kept on running and liked to raise money for children’s charities, including the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust, the NSPCC, and Childline, and for various hospices.
A natural musician, he played the accordion, mouth organ and "just about any instrument he picked up" according to his family.
He was a big Watford FC fan and revelled in the 1984 FA Cup run and enjoyed days out at Villa Park with his wife for the semi-final and, to a lesser extent Wembley, where the Hornets were beaten by Everton.
He was also a keen snooker player and he was a regular in Rileys Club in Queen’s Road, Watford.
Despite living in England for so many years he was still extremely proud of his Scottish heritage and he often donned his Baillie tartan family kilt and a clan crest took pride of place on the wall of his home.
Norman and Lilly, who for many years ran the canteen at the Watford Observer, moved from Bushey and to Lincoln in 1996. Lilly passed away 12 years later. Norman passed away on Thursday, March 6, after a long illness. He was 83 years of age.
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