‘Sunny by name, sunny by nature’: Tributes paid to popular Romford man Sunday Oduyemi
- Credit: David Oduyemi
Tributes have been paid to a man who had an “infectious smile” known by “the whole of South Street”.
Sunday Abayomi Oduyemi, known as Sunny, was born on September 25, 1988, and suddenly passed away aged 32 on September 11 this year.
According to his brother David Oduyemi, Sunny was known by “the whole of South Street” in Romford and even when talking on the phone, he would be greeting passersby.
Sunny was an avid Arsenal supporter and a fan of Bob Marley and Craig David – especially the song Seven Days.
David recalls how Sunny would jest with Tottenham fans, taunting: “Did you see the ball slip through Hugo Lloris’ legs... how did that happen?”
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“Sunny by name, sunny by nature - a wonderful guy, a beloved brother, a superb son and a fabulous friend," David said.
“He realised that he didn’t need to have everything in the world to give someone a smile.
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“We need more of him in the world. He was one of those that will, no shadow of doubt, get a VIP entrance to heaven.”
His brother will be best remembered for his “infectious smile he brought to people”, David added.
Sunny's mother Caroline Oduyemi said her son was a “very nice man”.
She recalled a recent trip to Lagos where Sunny was always behind her: “He always looked after me, Sunny would come into my room to check on me every hour. I was proud of him.
“He would take me to church and was always a nice person.”
Growing up, Caroline said Sunny would go with her to Dalston Market to bring her what she needed.
She added: “Back home here in Romford he would do the shopping for me. He is the only one that knew my pin number - I trusted him.”
Sunny worked in McDonald's on South Street for around seven years from 2010.
Then, inspired by David to “level up”, Sunny secured a new role working at Hamleys in Regent Street.
David said he “never forgot those in McDonald's” and continued to stop by to say hello.
He said: “It wasn’t about the pay, but making someone’s day. He didn’t go out of his way to do it; it was something that was natural to him.”
According to David, Sunny was looking forward to settling down with a family.
Visiting China and Hong Kong with David, Sunny also dreamed of travelling and he had next set his sights on America, specifically the east coast.
Although he didn’t get the chance to do this, Sunny enjoyed working at Hamleys, where a minute’s silence was held in his memory on September 26.
The 32-year-old also had a passion for theme parks and museums, and he spent time working as a museum attendant in Shoreditch at the Museum of the Home, then the Geffrye Museum.
Sunny’s funeral will be held on Monday, October 4. The Oduyemi family are inviting those who loved Sunny to attend.
Attendees are asked to wear a touch of red as a nod to Sunny’s love of Arsenal.
All flowers and wreaths can be sent to funeral directors West and Coe on Rainham Road South by 1pm on October 4 and the service will begin at the Romford Baptist Church at 2pm.
Sunny leaves behind Caroline, 75; David, 47; and three sisters, Abi, Remi and Tope.
His 73-year-old father Abiola Oduyemi died two years ago.
A GoFundMe page in Sunny’s memory has been set up in aid of Epilepsy Research UK, a charity chosen by his family because they believe he died from an epileptic fit.
Further information on fundraising events in Sunny's memory and funeral details can be found at https://www.facebook.com/sunny.oduyemi