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Tributes to tragic Jed
3:07pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid to ‘gentle soul’ Jed Ranner who collapsed and died in the street in Weymouth.
Mr Ranner, 43, was near his home in Abbotsbury Road when he developed breathing problems.
Paramedics tried desperately to revive him but he died at the scene, close to the junction on Ilchester Road, last Thursday (Feb21) evening.
Family and friends have paid tribute to Mr Ranner, described as a caring and compassionate man who always had time for people, particularly the downtrodden.
Mr Ranner, who battled health problems, was also a big music fan and a familiar face around the pubs. A benefit gig in his memory is being organised at his favourite hangout, the Duke of Cornwall.
Mum Jacki, also of Abbotsbury Road, has been informed her son died of pneumonia.
She said: “He was on his way home after seeing the doctor and collapsed in the street. When I last saw him I thought he had been getting better. He had been in poor health and had a virus and obviously it developed. I didn’t know what had happened out in the street until later.”
Mr Ranner, originally from Berkshire, trained as a graphic designer. He worked for himself designing features on signs but was also good behind the bar, aided by an easy-going manner.
He moved to Weymouth about 15 years ago and worked at a framing business as well as doing occasional bar work, introducing him to many locals. His health deteriorated in recent months but still enjoyed walking round the town and remained a familiar face at ‘the Duke’ where he helped out landlady Trish Wilson.
Jacki, who described her son as ‘loving, caring and compassionate’, said: “He loved Weymouth. He liked the laid-back approach and the characters.
“Although Berkshire is nice, it’s ‘yuppie land’ and that wasn’t him. He wasn’t really political but was in the student union and into protest. He liked the alternative lifestyle and met people in those circles. He also befriended ex-service people; he felt for them and supported Help for Heroes.”
She said he spent nine months working in orphanages in Romania in 1991 following three separate trips to the country after the revolution.
Jacki said her son suffered from severe arthritis in his back for years and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis last year.
Trish Wilson said: “Jed was a part of the furniture here.
“He helped out the previous landlord and continued that support when I arrived and liked walking my dogs.
“He was caring and sensitive to people’s moods, he always had time for people. He volunteered with the local soup kitchen and would talk to the street drinkers making sure they were ok.
“He wasn’t religious but had a great belief in karma and the world working together. His death is a big shock.”
Local singer Sheryl Lee described him as a ‘gentle soul, who trod lightly on the earth.’ She added: “Jed, or Jedi as I called him, was a well-rounded person and knowledgeable about lots of things and loved all kinds of music.
“He could be very private and was very independent despite his health problems. I drove past him on the day he died and he didn’t look well but he probably wouldn’t have made a lot of fuss about it. I can’t believe he collapsed just after I saw him. It’s so sad.”
*Mr Ranner’s funeral will take place at Weymouth Crematorium on Monday, March 4 at 10.45am.
A BENEFIT gig in memory of Jed Ranner is being held at the Duke of Cornwall on Wednesday, March 6 from 8pm.
Singer Sheryl Lee and folk musician Finnian McGurk, who appear regularly at the pub, are organising the benefit in aid of Help for Heroes, a charity close to Mr Ranner’s heart, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Sheryl and Finnian will perform along with other musicians yet to be announced.
A collection will be made for the charities and there will be a raffle. Everyone is welcome.