A hugely respected founder member of Pendle Voice Talking Newspaper died suddenly at home, just days before he was named in the Queen’s Honours List for receiving a British Empire Medal.
Mr Stephen Maden, known by many as Steve, had been informed of the honour some weeks before but sadly died at home in Halifax Road before having the chance to receive it in person.
The 75-year-old was well-known throughout the area for his unstinting volunteer work with Pendle Voice which began life in 1975.
Together with devoted wife Maxine, Steve delivered audio cassettes of local news on motorbike around the borough to blind and partially sighted people.
Nominated by his sister Marylyn Clifford for a Queen’s honour, his award of the BEM was officially announced on Saturday.
Maxine, who described him as caring and loyal, said: “Steve was so incredibly thrilled and proud to receive the honour. It’s so cruel and sad that he will not be able to collect it in person. He really deserved the honour for his many years of service.
“Steve really got to know all the users of the service personally and would give his time freely. If he said he was going to do something, he would do it.
“You very often hear that people will be missed, but in Steve’s case he really will be and by a lot of people. He was always on time and would never let anyone down.”
After attending Edge End High School in Nelson, Steve joined the RAF at 16 and served in an administrative role for 13 years before joining the teaching profession.
His new calling saw him work as a PE and maths teacher at Haslingden High School until he took early retirement aged 55. The role allowed him to exercise another of his great passions, hill walking, taking children on many school trips to the south of France and the Lake District.
A long-time member of Burnley Mountaineering Club, and most recently president, Steve once took two blind people to the top of Ben Nevis and also once met legendary Lakes writer Alfred Wainwright.
His funeral will be held on Wednesday June 20th at 1-30pm at St Paul's Church, Nelson.