RESPECTED Lymington solicitor and former chair of the Walkford-based Coda Music Trust Nick Filbee has died at the age of 72.
A talented artist and musician, Nick was also involved with many local groups and societies including Art Sway and the Pallet Club. He was a partner at the Lymington branch of Heppenstalls where he was renowned for his approachable manner and sense of humour.
Born in October 1947, Nick was the fourth of five sons born to Terence and Marjorie Filbee.
He grew up in Tiptoe and attended Ashley Secondary School and Brockenhurst College. He went on to study Law in Guildford, moving back to Lymington on completion of his education.
He joined Heppenstalls Solicitors and undertook five years’ training under the instruction of Jim Burgess. As a partner in the firm his work involved general litigation with a specialism in family law.
Heppenstalls managing director Alex Jennings said: “Nick had a very approachable and friendly manner and built a very loyal client base during his many years at Heppenstalls. He was very well respected and greatly liked.
“He also undertook charity work for many local groups and often stepped forward to entertain at the Law Society annual dinners.”
In 1976 he married Anne Burry. However, they later divorced and he never remarried.
During his lifetime, he developed a passion for classical music and was an accomplished pianist and cello player. He was chair of Coda Music Trust and sat on the board of trustees for nearly a decade from 2001.
Coda chief executive Phil Hallett said: “Nick was hugely influential in the growth of the music trust and was very involved in the project to create the music centre here in Walkford.
“Even after he stepped down as a trustee he continued to offer us regular advice on legal matters. He was a great friend to Coda and he will be sadly missed.”
Nick loved going to concerts and travelled to them by public transport after deciding early on that driving was not for him. He was also a talented artist and loved going on painting holidays to Europe.
Other interests included a love of gardening, plants and cake decorating. His elaborate and intricate creations delighted guests at many family and friends’ weddings and other celebrations.
His brother Patrick said: “Nick was a great philanthropist and supported many causes both financially and by involving himself in their administration.
“In the 1970s he joined The Castoffs, a group who used their musical and comedic skills to entertain and raise money for good causes.”
Nick also had a leading role with the Friends of the Lymington to Brockenhurst Trainline, which he used regularly.
His Catholic faith was very important to him and he was a member of the New Forest Catenian Association, which supports the Catholic Church.
Although he lived in Lymington, Nick loved the Isle of Wight where he had a small weekend place to indulge his passion for fossils. At the time of his death, he was president of the IoW Catenian Circle where he had many good friends. It was his wish that his ashes be interned in Totland on the island.
Patrick added: “Nick was a talented, generous man with a wonderful sense of humour. He will be greatly missed by his family as well as his many close friends, both locally and overseas, and all those he has helped over the years.”
Nick died at his home in Lymington on 24th August and is survived by his three brothers and extended family. Those who would like to give in his memory can donate to the PRCDTR, Lymington Building Fund c/o Our Lady of Mercy and St Joseph in Lymington.