A DEVOTED sea cadet, woodworker and passionate poet has died, at the age of 86.

William Beagan, also known by friends and family as Bill or Billy, was born in 1932 on Peppercorn Lane, Kendal.

Growing up on Kirkbarrow with his family, Mr Beagan was one of the youngest of eight children.

In 1952, he met his first wife Jill at a dance in Kendal where he told his friends he liked the look of her ankles.

Nearly a year later the couple got married and gave birth to their only daughter, Cynthia.

Mr Beagan and Jill lived in Ambleside where he did various jobs working in slate quarries and as a woodworker before they divorced in the 1970s.

In 1977 he married his second wife, Barbara, and helped raise her four children and they remained together up until her death in 2001.

Mr Beagan would use his spare time in his workshop making objects and gifts out of wood, slate, anything he could get his hands on.

Outside his workshop Mr Beagan had a love for the sea and for more than 70 years he was a life-long member of the Kendal Sea Cadets.

Mr Beagan helped develop the cadets by welcoming the first women to the group in the 1980s.

He taught them how to salute, tie knots and work with rope. Even in his 80s he remained loyal to the group and still attended the weekly meetings.

In his younger days, he enjoyed writing poetry and listening to classical music, something that many people did not know.

Mr Beagan was known for his ‘fountain of knowledge’ and his sense of imagination.

Before his late-companion and dance partner Doris (Dot) Hardy died, Mr Beagan would take the bus every day from Kendal to Milnthorpe to keep her company and cook her meals.

He was a keen cook and had made more than 14 Christmas puddings to be distributed to friends and family before his death on November 26.

Described as a ‘generous man’ and someone who never raised his voice, he was much respected and loved by his friends and family who will miss him deeply.

His daughter Cynthia Evans said: “He was an incredibly skilled and intelligent man. He was the most generous man I know, always wanting to give gifts to anyone he knew.

“He would have made anything for anyone simply because of who he was.

“It used to fascinate me what he was able to make things out of any resources he had. He once made me a bow and arrow, thank gosh I wasn’t into dolls!”

His stepdaughter Debi O’Brien said: “He was still laughing and joking up to the end and he was kind and generous to a fault and loved by many.

“He was a brilliant step dad and grandad to my three boys and he will be sadly missed.

Paul ‘Leroy’ Robinson, deputy district officer of Kendal Sea Cadets, said: “Bill made a difference in people’s lives and right to the very end he was always helping the community.

“He was an officer through and through and the best teacher I’ve ever had.”

Mr Robinson added: “He moulded so many people in a positive way I will never forget his smile. He always carried a smile.”