Obituary: Ian Sweeting - The OCA

Obituary: Ian Sweeting

Ian Sweeting
(OC 1974-1983)

Born 21 November 1965, died July 2021

Born on November 21st, 1965, at home in Caterham, Ian was the middle child to parents John and Valerie, with an older brother Paul and younger brother Andrew (both also went to Caterham). Their parents travelled a lot with John’s work, and Ian’s early years were spent with his paternal grandparents in Chaldon, Surrey.

At Caterham he excelled at athletics, representing the school at the Preparatory Schools National Athletics Championships in 1978. Being swift of foot, Ian played regularly for the school’s football, rugby and hockey teams. Playing on the left-wing at Hill Top on a frigid February afternoon was no doubt the inspiration for a poem he penned, ‘Hands float like ice blocks. I am pushed by the wind. Ground hard and stiff like concrete. Leaves crackle like eating crisps. Snow melts in my hand. Indoors…  relief!’

He entered the University of Plymouth to study Business Studies with an industrial placement year with Lintas Advertising in Sydney, Australia. Down time down-under was spent sun baking on Bondi Beach and in the evenings playing guitar and singing at British bars. He graduated in 1989.

It was during his time at Plymouth that Ian met the love of his life, Justine. They travelled the world together, worked together at Nestlé, and in 1994 they were married at St. Mary’s in Caterham on the Hill and honeymooned in Kenya.

This chapter of Ian’s life was the happiest, being married to Justine, working at Nestlé, Kimberly-Clarke, Coca-Cola, travelling abroad, socialising with friends from work, university, and school.

Whereas Ian certainly enjoyed the finer things of life, he spent his later years exploring a simpler way of living, spending time in the Lake District, enjoying its wide, open spaces and rambling natural beauty and more latterly in West Sussex where he loved nothing more than watching cricket on the local green and being near to the sea.

Despite life throwing a number of curved balls in Ian’s direction and the ride being somewhat bumpy at times, Ian lived it mostly with a big smile and was able to see the humour in many of the more ridiculous aspects of life around him.  He had a great passion for life, adored and was very knowledgeable about a whole raft of sports and will be remembered for his enormous generosity and joie de vivre.

Several challenging illnesses finally got the better of Ian and he very sadly passed away in July 2021.

Written by friend OC Martin Clay