TRIBUTES have been paid to James ‘Jim’ Brack, a "warm-hearted mischief maker" who arrived at the celebration of his own life in an old Routemaster bus.

Mr Brack died on July 25, aged 88. He was born in Darlington, and lived for most of his life in the town. He was married to Connie (Storey), who died in 1980 in a car accident.

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James ‘Jim’ Brack

They were described as a gregarious couple, and their house was an open one. Their son's Tony and Tim’s cousin’s were always around and one cousin was actually born in the house. Mr Brack himself was hospitalised for a time after the car accident, but he was a positive man and proved very resilient.

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He rebuilt his life and established the Connie Brack Memorial Prize in his wife's honour, to be presented every year at the Haxby and Wigginton Youth Club, which Mrs Brack had run with her husband’s help.

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Connie Brack, who died in 1980

After his wife's death, Mr Brack continued to travel. He often travelled with John Bailey, a fellow mason, who was blind. Mr Bailey died a few years ago.

In his working life, Mr Brack worked on the railways for British Rail, first in Darlington, then Doncaster and finally York. He was Chief Electrical Engineer NE Region.

He was also a big sports fan. He loved to fish at Rievaulx Abbey, with his long-standing friend Eric.

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James ‘Jim’ Brack in the football team in1943

When he was younger he was good enough to contemplate a career as a professional footballer. Contemplation was as far as it got though because his dad wouldn’t allow it – as his dad put it, "it’s not a proper job".

An aspect of Mr Brack’s life that was very important to him was his membership of the Freemasons. He was a member of the York lodge of the Freemasons whose premises overlook York Minster.

Mr Brack moved to Nottingham two years ago. He had wanted to die in his own home, surrounded by his neighbours, but his needs were too great. He moved to residential care in Bulwell to be near son Tony and his family.

Mr Brack looked upon the move as a kind of adventure. He always had a story to tell about life in the care home, maybe a little muddled but always entertaining.

His once weekly trip to Tony’s showroom was the highlight of his week and he had the good fortune to be able to see his grandchildren regularly in the months before he died.

Son Tim said: "We hope the next part of his journey is as fun filled as this one was."

A service was held on August 7, with cremation at Gedling Crematorium, Nottinghamshire.

Mr Brack is survived by sons Anthony (Reeta) and Timothy (Stephanie) and sister Pam, grandchildren Sam (Clair), Lauren, Dylan and Connor and great grandchildren Aleyla and Amelia.