A MAN has kept the memory of his wife alive by fundraising in her honour.
Dave Middlemast from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, has raised more than £2,700 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) which went to the aid of his wife, Sue, after she suffered a heart attack while mountain biking.
Sue, 61, fell ill while riding with Dave and two friends at Blanchland Moor on May 8 this year. Despite desperate attempts to revive her, she was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
He said: “She was taken from us without warning and far too soon.
“The air ambulance responded quickly and provided an invaluable service. They were wonderful.”
Dave and Sue met in 1974 while she was training to be a teacher at St Hild’s in Durham. They later married in 1989 and were together for 42 years.
Sue spent three decades teaching hundreds of pupils at Bexhill Primary School in Sunderland, before retiring in 2009 to travel.
Dave said: “She was my constant loving companion for two thirds of my life.
“She was very active, thoughtful and just wonderful. She was so easy to be with, fun-loving and supportive, and everyone would say the same.
“We will never forget her zest for life, her lovely ways and that beautiful beaming smile.”
Altogether, more than £2,700 has been raised through donations from family and friends to an online fundraising page, alongside a squash competition held in Sue’s name at Chester-le-Street leisure centre on September 25. Sue was a key member of the club since it first formed in 1985.
The fundraising handicap tournament saw twenty-five people battle it out before Dave Robertson, from Rickleton, Washington, was crowned the overall winner. This week, Dave handed over the £300 raised at the event to the charity.
Dave said: “It was very well organised and I’d like to thank everyone involved, such as the leisure centre which provided the squash courts for free.
“The response to donating in memory of Sue has been overwhelming and has meant a great deal to me. The show of support has been tremendous.”
Dave already has ideas to raise more funds in her memory in the new year with plans to cycle the coast to coast and hold a band night.
To make a donation visit the JustGiving page here.