The grandfather believed to have been killed by his daughter and buried in their back garden was a war hero.
Kenneth Coombes served in the RAF during World War Two, picking up several medals, including the African Star 8th Army clasp, the France and Germany Star and the Military Conduct Exemplary award.
Family friend Roy Cosgrove, 73, whose mum Lilian had known Ken since they were children, told The Sun Online that he was a “very special, lovely man. A real gentleman.
“He was a very quiet man but very interesting. You could sit and listen to his stories from the war all day.”
Barbara Coombes, 63, has been charged with murdering her father 12 years ago and burying his body in their garden.
She was arrested on suspicion of murder after walking into a police station on Sunday and saying she had killed a man “a number of years ago”. She is also accused of preventing his lawful and decent burial.
Roy told MailOnline: “Barbara went to my mother’s a few years before she died to say Ken had passed away from cancer.
“There wasn’t even any mention of a funeral. My mother was so upset.”
Barbara Coombes made a brief three-minute appearance at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Thursday).
Wearing black-rimmed spectacles and a brown woolly jumper, she spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth.
She is accused of murder on January 8 2006, and preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body, between January 7 2006 and January 10 2018.
The defendant is also accused of fraud by false representation between January 15 2007 and January 10 2018, by dishonestly making a false representation, sending official letters in the name of Mr Coombes, intending to make a gain by claiming monies not belonging to herself.
The final charge is obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception between January 7 2006 and January 15 2007, by making a false representation that she was a carer for Mr Coombes.
The mother-of-one made no reaction as she was handcuffed to a prison officer.
District Judge David Scanlon remanded her in custody to appear at Manchester Crown Court on Friday morning.
Coombes, of Matlock Road, Reddish, Stockport, was first arrested on Sunday.
Police then dug up the back garden of her home where human remains were found and she was charged with the four offences on Wednesday night.
The human remains have not yet been formally identified.
The results of a Home Office post mortem to establish cause of death has not been disclosed.
Officers have also gone door-to-door handing out a questionnaire to neighbours to say they are investigating the death of Mr Coombes, stating he would have been in his late 80s in 2005.