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Chief reporter dies just weeks after terminal cancer diagnosis

Jon WalkerA serving regional journalist has died just weeks after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Tributes have been paid to Jon Walker, chief reporter at the Petersfield Post, who was 64.

After Jon’s illness became public, more than 100 people attended a candlelit vigil for him, while he also married his long-term partner Milla on 10 March.

He died at home in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Post editor Colin Channon told HTFP: “Jon was an old-school journalist, as dogged as they come. If he uncovered even the semblance of story, he wouldn’t rest until he got to the bottom of it.

“He loved ploughing through council paperwork to see what he could uncover.

“It’s heartbreaking – I spoke to him only a couple of days before his death and he was very optimistic and couldn’t wait to have treatment and get back to work. The news we received at the weekend hit all his colleagues very badly.

“They don’t make journalists like Jon any more. We’ll miss him – and going by the number of tributes we have received in the past 24 hours, the Post’s readers will miss him, too.”

Daniel Gee, head of content at the Post and Herald, said: “Jon was a phenomenal journalist, a real social warrior and a passionate advocate for Petersfield and the surrounding area.

“You couldn’t sneeze in Petersfield without this man knowing about it, and god help you if he thought you were up to no good.

“The outpouring of love for Jon since his illness became common knowledge is a testament to the man he was, and I know it meant a lot to him.

“We mourn the loss of a brilliant, beautiful soul who will always be remembered for his contribution to the community he served.

“Thanks for everything JW. We’ll carry on the good fight in your honour fella.”

Jon was originally a builder and worked in Spain and France before retraining as a journalist and worked for papers in the Shetland Isles, Devon and the Lake District before returning home to Petersfield.

Away from the Post, Jon presented a weekly podcast called The P Pod with friend and Petersfield Shine Radio presenter Joff Lacey.

He also stood for election to East Hampshire District Council in 2019 as an Independent, winning almost 22pc of the vote in Petersfield’s St Peter’s ward.

As well as Milla, Jon is survived by his two teenage sons and daughter.