Throughout his 80-year life, John Arbuckle never complained and was seldom sufficiently annoyed to raise his voice.

Recently, after not feeling well and insisting to his family that he was fine, he made an appointment for a medical check-up and drove himself to the hospital. He made it to the entrance before collapsing.

There, having been diagnosed with both leukaemia and pneumonia, he died three days later.

That was his way. He did not seek the limelight, often appearing diffident and shy, and yet he had a remarkably successful life and, if he had wanted to, he had plenty to shout about.

As a farmer, he was one of the first to see his raspberries make it onto the shelves of the top supermarkets. This was long before the soft fruit industry was transformed by polytunnels and, in John’s day, the weather and the exacting standards from the buyers were challenging to say the least.

His success with this enterprise was down to his attention to detail and the ability to quietly deal with buyers from major multiple retailers out to make their name in dealing with farmers.

John also grew seed potatoes on his farm in North-east Fife and again it was his ability to quietly meet the requirements of a demanding market that marked him out.

His lifetime interest in potatoes may not have been surprising. His father had been vice-chairman of the Potato Marketing Board and his own first steps in the industry were taken as a 15-year-old schoolboy in Cupar where varieties and diseases had to be identified prior to roguing the crop for purity.

Two years later, he won first prize as a student on the Scottish potato crop inspection course – a feat repeated some 40 years later after he had retired from active farming.

Inevitably, he was drawn into potato politics and served as chair of the potato committee of NFU Scotland and latterly as a member of the Scottish Seed Potato Development Council. A colleague on this committee said that John did not say much, but when he did people listened!

His service on these committees saw him elected as an honorary vice-president of NFUS. In his retirement, he co-authored a history of the NFU which was published in 2012 to celebrate 100 years of the union.

More recently, with brother Andrew, he compiled 'Farming is a Funny Business' aimed at raising funds for RSABI. Such was the success of this compilation that it had been followed by another two books; the most recent one being 'Farming is Still a Funny Business'. The rural charity’s funds have benefitted by more than £70,000 from these efforts.

Unusually for a farmer, he carried his love of growing plants into his garden where friends and neighbours came to admire his meticulously tidy flower and vegetable plots. His neighbours in the hamlet of Giffordtown also benefitted from his efforts as the informal village bartering system saw him trade fruit and vegetables in exchange for other items such as eggs.

He was community-minded, serving as chair on the community council in the area where he farmed and then as secretary in the part of Fife to which he and his wife, Jean, moved after giving up the farm tenancy.

Jean, the daughter of a farmer from Angus, died three years ago. John and she always enjoyed the company of their two sons, John and Niall and daughter, Irene, and their partners as well as five grandchildren. Family proved a great support to John after her death.

As a young farmer, John chaired Bell Baxter Agricultural Discussion Society when it scooped up the prestigious Allan Howie award presented to the club in Scotland showing most ambition.

His two main recreations outwith farming were marked by his dedication and long service. He curled all his adult life for Abdie club and five years ago was awarded the Royal Caledonian Curling Club medal for completing 50 years on the ice.

Despite the widespread popularity of the sport, remarkably few curlers achieve this milestone, but he was a social curler, enjoying the camaraderie as much as the competition.

Although never playing rugby after his school days, he was also a long-term supporter of Howe of Fife RFC. He was not a member of the ‘blazer brigade’ but could be seen regularly on the touchlines – not shouting, as he was not a ‘shouty’ person.

There was one exception. This occurred when two of his assorted raspberry pickers decided to have a fight using John’s carefully nurtured raspberries as artillery. Though seldom used, he could and did raise his voice when needed – and he did so that day!