The veteran vendor, 61, became a familiar sight outside Marks & Spencer on Perth’s High Street, Scotland, during his 20 years selling the magazine.
He leaves behind his wife Gill Soutar, six children and seven grandchildren. Rab’s funeral will be held at 2pm on 11 October at St Matthew’s Church in Perth. His family have launched a GoFundMe campaign for support with the costs of the funeral.
Scores of floral tributes, copies of The Big Issue and heartfelt messages have been left on his pitch in his memory.
Chris Luby, frontline sales and support worker for The Big Issue in Scotland, led the tributes, describing the popular Scot as a “pleasant guy”.
“Rab was a great wee guy. He was never any bother, a good seller and he was very popular on his pitch, just a nice man and such a pleasant guy,” said Luby.
“It’s sad that he has passed away. He loved selling his magazines – I spoke to him a few times and he told me he couldn’t see himself doing anything else. A few times we got emails from customers saying, ‘What a lovely man that is in Perth High Street who’s selling the magazine.’
“He really will be missed. You could always trust Rab, he would never let you down.”
News of Rab’s death inspired more than 600 people to pay their respects in the Auld Perth Bairns Facebook group.
His regular customers and Perth passers-by shared memories of chatting to him and some even called for a permanent tribute to be installed on his Big Issue pitch.
Fiona McWilliams said: “Rab was one in a million. Everyone’s friend. He stood in all weathers selling The Big Issue and happily chatting to anyone who talked to him. He will be sorely missed and I hope in the future Perth will add a little plaque or something where Rab stood in the high street as a lovely memorial to him.”
Lynn Rivett also paid tribute. She said: “So sad to hear this about such a lovely man. I made some quilts for him and I loved our blethers when down the street. Condolences to all the family.”
Buy a Big Issue Winter Support Kit for £34.99, you’ll receive four copies of the magazine and vendors could receive immediate tools for survival plus access to vital training and employment pathways to escape poverty for good.