Dozens of Fife bus drivers stopped to line the streets as a mark of respect to a well-known and much-loved colleague.
Employees based at Stagecoach’s Aberhill depot in Levenmouth were unable to attend Jimmy Hunter’s funeral service on Thursday due to coronavirus restrictions but paid their own special tribute to a man who had spent almost half his life working in the industry.
Workmates stood on both sides of the road outside the depot as Mr Hunter’s funeral cortege passed, while drivers across the region on daily services pulled over to observe a minute’s silence at 11am.
Mr Hunter, 60, who died at home on April 30, was husband to the late Kathryn and a father of Katie-Anne Armstrong, who spoke of her pride over her father’s importance to so many people.
“There are many people that would call my dad the best friend ever and he touched so many people’s hearts I would be here all day naming them all.
“I do know for certain that my dad thought of them exactly the same way they thought of him.
“I am unsure as to how the world is going to be without him and I know myself just how much he is going to be missed. Our loss is heaven’s gain.”
After leaving Kirkland High School, Mr Hunter – the eldest of five siblings – went straight to work at Seafield Pit, until its closure in 1988.
He spent 16 years as a bus driver and then depot supervisor and following a short time with the Scottish Ambulance Service in 2004, went on to become a bus station supervisor with Fife Council in 2005.
Despite taking early retirement in 2018 to look after Kathryn, he returned to driving buses after her passing.
Katie-Anne spoke of her dad’s love for football and for stockcar racing, supporting his brother-in-law James and nephew Gordon Moodie, who has gone on to become a record-breaking multiple world champion.
He also had a passion for music, even becoming a DJ with his own disco called Millennium Music.
“If there was a karaoke on anywhere he would be one of the first up to sing,” Katie-Anne added.
“You’d often hear a bit of My Way or Sweet Caroline.
“His sister, my auntie Anne’s favourite memory of my dad is just this. Him singing Sweet Caroline at her daughter’s wedding and the dance floor was packed.
“My dad has lots of nieces and nephews and each one would have their own story to tell.
“He meant so much to all of them and in turn they meant so much to him.”
One of his Stagecoach colleagues, Mark Young, said the drivers’ room at Aberhill will never be the same without ‘Oor Jimmy’.
“Jimmy was a well-known, loved and caring man who would bend over backwards to help anybody or give them advice and support,” he said.
“He was also quite talented at making us all laugh as well with his many stories.
“I know I speak for us all when I say this man will never be forgotten.”