WELLESLEY Peter Elems was a salesman-turned-entrepreneur-turned volunteer before his sudden death at the age of 64.

Mr Elems, or Wells as he was widely known, moved to Brading after leaving Ryde where he lived in Monkton Street for many years.

Born in Shanklin, he spent the majority of his younger life on the Island, particularly adoring Bonchurch where he developed his keen interest in nature.

He went to Gatten and Lake and then Bembridge School before his first job as an import and export clerk at Southampton Docks.

While visiting the United States in the 1980s, his persuasive and humorous abilities as a salesman were recognised and he was offered a job and the chance to emigrate. But his family was his enduring priority and he returned to the UK.

After he came back to the Island, he started a pottery and art business with a partner and went on to become a car salesman at the Volkswagen-Audi Fishbourne Garage.

He travelled widely over the years, visiting south and north America, Africa and many other places.

Spending time in Spain with ex-pat friends was one of his favourite relaxations.

He was a regular contributor to the County Press letters pages on a range of issues. His catchphrase was 'It's no good — I feel a letter coming on."

In fact, his family insisted he be interred with a copy of the CP among his favourite things.

His ventures included starting Pet Taxi, a business transporting pets for their owners. Latterly, he ran an armorial family history enterprise at the IW Steam Railway, Havenstreet, often with one of his sons, Marcus, for whom he ceaselessly cared.

When he wasn't supporting his family and friends, he found time to volunteer in the community as a driver for a local charity and more recently encouraged and supported his wife running a community gardening project at Quarr Abbey, which provided work and social opportunities for people with learning disabilities.

A funeral service took place at St Mary's Church, Brading, on Tuesday.

He leaves his mother, Joyce, wife, Delene, and two sons, Michael and Marcus.