The family of a beloved Marlow butcher has paid tribute to him after he died aged 82.

Rotarian and Old Borlasian John Asplin died peacefully at his home in the town last week after spending his life “deeply involved” in the community, and will be buried at the last remaining burial plot at All Saints Church, in the High Street.

Born in Spittal Street on Valentine’s Day in 1936 above the family butcher shop, R. F. Asplin & Son, Mr Asplin attended Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School and, at the age of 17, joined the choir at All Saints, where he remained an active member until 2014.

He was also involved in the Marlow Rowing Club and rowed across the Thames in Laurence Harvey starrer Three Men in a Boat.

His daughter Elizabeth Bebb said he was proud to carry out his national service in the RAF at Medmenham and his early career found him in the banking world in London.

She said: “However, the pull of the Marlow community led him to take over the family business in 1961 when his parents retired to the Isle of Wight.

“As a master butcher, he spent long hours at his shop preparing meat for his customers, and often had a queue out of the shop.

“He will be especially remembered for his Christmas turkeys, sausages and delicious ham.”

Mr Asplin was an active member of the Rotary Club of Marlow, which his father helped to found in 1949, serving as the chairman of the international committee and being awarded the Paul Harris award.

He was also an avid bridge player and a “creative and attentive” gardener, and spent a number of years in the Marlow Operatic Society, appearing in several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

Mr Asplin was married to Avril Asplin for 58 years, with his family describing him as a devoted husband.

He was known as ‘grampy’ to his seven grandchildren – Christopher, Hannah, James, Lauren, William, Thomas and Michael – and also leaves behind his sister Sheila, three “adoring” children, Libby, Sarah and Jonathan, as well as two great grandchildren.

The family said in a statement: “He was everything a husband, father and Grampy should be. He is much loved and will be greatly missed.

“To everyone who knew him, he will be remembered as a true gentleman.”

And Marlow Nostalgia writer Michael Eagleton said: “For over 15 years I had the shop Chiltern Sound Records next door to John and we were good neighbours.

“He was a charming, helpful and softly spoken gentleman who was obviously well liked in the town.”

Mr Asplin’s funeral service will take place at All Saints on August 17 at 11am, followed by a private burial in the churchyard and a wake at Court Gardens.

The family have requested family flowers only, but a donation can be made to Rennie Grove Hospice via Arnold Funeral Service. Call 01628 898866.