Tribute: Tony Defriez
Tony was born in 1948, the only child of John and Joan Defriez who were living in Chesham Bois at that time, moving a few years later to Amersham. He attended St Mary’s school in Old Amersham and when old enough to travel home from school on his own, he would save his bus money so that he could spend it on sweets at Mr Corn’s shop. He went on to Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, where he said he wasted his education!
On leaving school Tony worked with estate agents Howard, Son and Gooch. He knew he did not want to travel to London, stuck in an office all day. Thus began a career that lasted over 50 years. It was in 1970, whilst working in Amersham, that he met Rosemary, marrying in 1973. They set up home in Wendover as Tony had taken a position with Brown and Merry (B&M) in 1971. Tony had a very long career with B&M in Wendover. In June 1977, Tony and Rosemary welcomed the first of their 3 children, Christopher, Ian in 1979 and Niki in 1981, by when they had moved to Bedgrove.
Tony took a very active role in Wendover Round Table being a founder member. Many happy times were had along with raising money for various charities and doing good deeds. Most notably the annual Christmas ‘Old Folks party’ and Wendover Carnival. He was a past president of Round Table (RT). He also loved his cricket, playing for B&M and RT. He moved on to 41 Club and continued to meet with them informally.
In 2010 Tony left B&M and after a few months of ‘gardening leave’ he opened the new Wendover office of Tim Russ Estate Agents. This took him back to his roots of being, as he would say, a proper estate agent. He retired from the office in June 2017, and up until the pandemic, continued to work as a consultant, seeing clients that he’d known well over a very long period.
In 2013 grandchildren started to arrive: Oliver, followed by twin girls, Effie and Halle, then in March 2017 Harry and in August Adley. Having retired by then, he had more play time with the younger two boys.
In many of the wonderful cards and letters of condolence that we have received, the same words have been used: gentleman, honest, integrity and professional.
One thing is certain, Wendover was always in Tony’s heart and Wendover benefitted immensely from his presence.