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Former regional daily industrial editor dies aged 77

Jeffrey HockeyThe former industrial editor of a regional daily who later held senior public relations positions in the energy industry has died aged 77.

Tributes have been paid to Jeff Hockey, who held the post at the South Wales Echo before moving on to a career in PR.

Jeff joined the Cardiff-based Echo in 1973, after spending 10 years at the start of his career at neighbouring daily the South Wales Argus, in Newport.

After leaving the the Echo, he later held senior PR positions at British Gas and SWALEC in Cardiff.

Geoff Wright, 69, worked with Jeff at the Argus in the early 1970s and knew him for the best part of 40 years.

He told the newspaper: “In an industry where moving from place to place and job to job is a natural course of events there is a handful of characters people never forget. Jeff Hockey was one of those.

“He passed on experience, knowledge and common sense in an honest and no-nonsense way.

“He was a well-respected reporter and when gamekeeper turned poacher he maintained this reputation in his new PR role because people knew that what you saw was what you got.

“He was the first contact I made when I arrived in South Wales and I count that as a huge slice of luck as he became a valuable and loyal friend and colleague over more than 40 years.

“But best of all he made us laugh – not a bad combination and one that leaves behind a multitude of fond memories that will stand the test of time.”

Jeff met his future wife of 52 years, Val, in a music shop she worked at in Neath in 1960.

They got married in the town three years later and went on to have four sons, Richard, Ian, Andrew and Neil, and five grandchildren, Maisy, Curtly, Madeline, Casey and Craig.

Jeff’s funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church in Caldicot at 10am on Wednesday 2 December and will be followed by a service at Coleford Crematorium at 11.30am.

The service will be followed by refreshments at The Castle Inn in the town of Caldicot where the couple lived for almost 40 years.

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  • November 24, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Sad news. Jeff was certainly the dominant figure in the newsroom at Maesglas during the three years I worked for the Argus (1970-73).

    A career to be proud of.

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