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
The last family photo
Love ya Dad. RIP xx
Goodbye for now…