Reuben Thomas Wilsker – an appreciation

reubenwilsker1991 – 2019

Reuben – standing at the back left in the photo – was born with the disadvantage of having cystic fibrosis. Did he allow this to stop him getting the most out of his life? Not at all. He did so many things academically and in sport and also had a large group of friends. As a neighbour, it was a privilege to watch this courageous young man who always had a smile and never grumbled even after a double lung transplant did not bring the transformation he had hoped for.

Born on 17th May 1991 Reuben was a much loved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend. He was always fun to be with, warm and witty. Pre-school he attended Filkins nursery and Shipton and Churchill playgroups. He attended Kingham Primary School, followed by Burford School where he worked for a Duke of Edinburgh award. After successfully completing his studies at Burford, he went on to study biomedical science at Plymouth but this was not what he wanted. Later that year he embarked on a ‘World tour’ travelling down the east coast of Australia and finally flying to Botswana. A few years later he took a European road trip in a Toyota Yaris with his close friends from Burford school: Tom Rivers, Rob Hipkins and Ali Cox. They went to Paris, Geneva and Milan ending with a stay in Rubia France. It was on this trip Reu renamed himself ‘Road Trip Reu’.

Directly after this extensive travelling, Reuben studied for a BA in human biology at Bristol and then went on to study successfully for an MA in biomedical science at Westminster University.

He was much involved in sport – playing rugby for Burford School and Stow 6- 18 youth teams and football for Wychwood boys 6- 13. He helped run the Shipton Youth club for a time with Malcolm Cochrane. With his father, David, he co-founded and worked in the family Wychwood Machining Company. Reuben inspired everyone by his life, from the people he knew even to people he
did not know directly such as the friends of friends. Many people heard a reference to “my mate Reu” and were amazed at what he had achieved under such adversity. Fighting his way through sports, walks and hikes enabled him to enjoy the company and fun his group brought to each other. He was truly the glue in the wide circle of friends that he created. They will not forget his example.

Alan Vickers

December 2019-January 2020