Raymond William Gerrard 21st July 1943 – 20th May 2013

On Monday, at around 8pm, my Dad passed away peacefully in hospital in Chester.

He’d been ill for a while…. heart problems amongst others… and I’d been to visit him a few times over the past few weeks. I last saw him Monday afternoon. I think he was ready.

Anyone who ever met him will know what I mean when I say he was one of the good ones. Always joking. Never taking things too seriously. He lived the life he wanted and was always looking out for everybody else, even when he should have been looking out for himself. Everyone he met instantly felt like they’d known him forever.

During his life he worked many different jobs – cinema projectionist, removals, taxis, TV aerials, newsagent – but for 30 years he was a driving instructor. Hundreds of people from Chester can drive thanks to him.

More than that, he was the best Dad to my brothers and I. A true family man who worked so hard to give his family a better life. And when we moved away he and my Mom went on to foster kids. Almost FIFTY kids! That level of generosity and selflessness is something I can barely comprehend. I’m humbled by it.

And, over recent years, I’ve watched my Dad become a loving Grandad to our boys and my brothers’ kids. I’m so glad they got to know him, but would give anything for them to have had more time with him.

I want to publicly thank everyone for the emails, texts, Facebook & Twitter messages, support and kind words. It’s very much appreciated.

I also want to thank the nurses and doctors who cared for my Dad. I’m forever in their debt.

I don’t even know what I’m feeling right now but I do know I miss him terribly already. One thing I encourage you all to do is take more photos of your parents. Here are just a few of my favourite photos of my Dad….

1st August 1964

Dad meets Elliott

At our wedding

4 generations of Gerrards

The family man

A husband for almost 49 years

With the grandkids (all but one)

The last family photo

Love ya Dad. RIP xx

Goodbye for now…

9 responses to “For My Dad.”

  1. Lucy says:

    Steve I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, he sounded and looked like a wonderful man, father and grandfather. I hope you can all support each other through this xxxx

  2. Jaye Cole says:

    So sorry for your loss. Amazing how much we connect with photos as this retrospective really gives a lingering sense of what he was like as a person.

  3. Gemma Williams says:

    Sorry to hear your sad news. Sounds like he was an amazing man, and what a fantastic collection of photos you have to celebrate him.

  4. emilyquinton says:

    Sending lots and lots of love and hugs to all of you. A beautiful post for your lovely Dad xxxx

  5. Kate Tolson says:

    A touching tribute Steve, thanks for sharing. Sorry for your and your family’s loss

  6. Martin Hemsley says:

    Sounded like an incredible man, and quite a wonderful tribute. This has stopped me in my tracks a few times this week.

  7. Becky Sappor says:

    My goodness I can see so much of him in Elliott.

    Cliché as it sounds, time is a healer and you clearly have many many wonderful memories of him which will help you get through your most difficult times.

    Sending lots of love xxx

  8. Spence Cater says:

    Beautiful tribute to your dad. Great collection of photographs to remember him by and of course the memories last long after the photographs. He looks like a lovely character.
    I lost my dad 6 years ago and it’s brought back some memories for me.
    Thanks for sharing

    :)

  9. York Place Studios says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss Steve, your dad sounded like a great guy and a lot like you. You are so right about taking more photographs of your parents and all your family and it is something that I am very conscious of right now. Love to you all xx

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