Ivan Puschnik 1940 – February 2021

My dad was an amazing man; he epitomised all that is best in the human spirit and character. He moved to Milton in 1960 with his new wife Glenda to live and work at Lower Farm as a dairy man. His resolution and drive for hard work had started many years before.

He was born in the former communist Yugoslavia, now Slovenia, and as a small child he became man of the house after his father was captured during the war and sent to England to work on Barrington estate as a prisoner of war. After the war his mother travelled alone with three small children, with very little food or money, to reunite the family. Dad was eleven when he arrived in England and spoke no English. His school master would hold up an article and say its name. He preferred hard work to schooling and after leaving school worked on the estate and later became assistant dairyman.

In the excessive heat of 1976, he bought his first house which was very run down on the Bruern road. Every day, after a full day’s work, he would work on the house all hours making us a lovely home. In 1979, after leaving the farm, he took a job as the village milkman and after a few months had the opportunity to buy it. That was the start of Wychwood Dairies.

The milk always had to go out come rain, shine and many a winter snow storms. The customer always came first in his book; he even delivered potatoes to a forgetful customer one Christmas morning so as not to ruin their day. A defining moment in dad’s life came was when mum was cruelly stricken with MS. A lesser man may have caved in with this extra burden, but not dad. He rose magnificently and unselfishly to the challenge, building her a bungalow that would accommodate all her needs and gradually becoming a full-time carer to her as her health deteriorated, as well as expanding the business from two rounds to five by delivering to Chipping Norton and Burford.

He loved living in Milton but his heart had always remained in Slovenia and when he retired after mum’s death, he spent many long summers back on his mountain, reunited with family members and immersed himself back in the culture and the landscape of the place that was always in his heart. Dad was a true gentleman and a truly gentle man who made a huge success of his life and brought friendship and happiness to all that knew him.

Joanne Lizika Hobson

June-July 2021