‘Inseparable’ father and son die just a day apart

A family has been left grief-stricken after an inseparable father and son died within a day of each other in adjoining rooms at Pendleside Hospice.

Gone too soon: Eric Thurlow and his son Dean
Gone too soon: Eric Thurlow and his son Dean

Eric Thurslow died from cancer on Wednesday, just a day after his 40-year-old son Dean lost his battle to the terrible disease.

Their deaths have left a huge hole in the lives of their devastated family, not least Eric’s wife Eileen who has lost her husband of 45 years and their precious son.

Eileen, of Horning Crescent, Briercliffe, said: “The last few months have just been a nightmare.

“We all just feel numb. It’s like being trapped in a bad dream. Eric and Dean were very close, they shared a lot of interests, particularly fishing. They went all over the country fishing. Both were quiet, caring men who loved the outdoors.

“Dean became ill four years ago, and Eric visited him initially. Then, 15 months ago, Eric was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had a big operation.

“They shared adjoining rooms at the hospice who were fantastic with us. We knew once one went the other would go. All our friends and family have been very kind.”

Born in Rygate, Eric (71) grew up on the Isle of Wight and moved to Burnley when he joined the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in which he served as a bandsman playing the drum.

The couple also have a daughter Tracy who lives in Bristol. His family say he was a loving grandfather to Dean’s son Jake (8) and Tracy’s son Jack (22).

Dean’s partner Gill Isherwood said: “Dean was a very quiet man who lived for Jake and the great outdoors. He was a self-employed joiner and previously worked with his dad in the trade. Dean also loved to go out in his campervan and walk our dogs Simba and Elsa. You don’t think you can cry any more and then more tears come.”

A joint funeral will be held on Thursday at Burnley Crematorium at 1-40pm when both coffins will be adorned with fishing rods.