Closure as long lost brother of Sudbury man is cremated

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A Sudbury man who appealed to find his long lost brother he had not seen for 30 years says he feels a sense of closure after he was cremated in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

In 2008 the Suffolk Free Press published an appeal from Gene Yates, now 62, in a bid to find younger brother Russ.

He had a great sense of humour, liked to crack jokes, and was a lot of fun

Sadly, Gene was informed of his death of his younger sibling, who died at the age of 57 following a battle with cancer.

They grew up in children’s homes across the country respectively, but said his appeal and subsequent searches to find his brother got little response.

But there was a large gathering at West Suffolk Crematorium in Risby, near Bury, yesterday (Monday), allowing Gene one last chance to say goodbye.

“He had been living in the Bury St Edmunds area for quite a few years and he had lots of friends there,” he said.

“We spoke to people there, and people stood up to talk about how they first met Russ and what sort of character he was.

“He had a great sense of humour, liked to crack jokes, and was a lot of fun. He also turned to the bible.

“He had a family, it may have not been blood family as such, but he cared for people and they cared about him too.”

Mr Yates, of First Avenue, described it as a “sad situation” — explaining it was the third occasion where he had been informed of a family member’s death after they were “scattered about” following stints in children’s homes.

“It is very, very difficult, you can only do so much,” he added. “I wish there was a bit more help.

“There are things like the Ancestry website and those sorts of places but by going on those sites it does not necessarily mean you will find the person you want.”

The initial appeal, published in the Suffolk Free Press nearly eight years ago, was instigated by Gene’s sister Marcia, who lives in Cornwall.

Having traced other members of their family, it was hoped they could have a reunion to visit the graves of her mother Barbara, dad Joseph, and brother Mark.

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