Tributes: cancer fund-raiser Geoff dies (64)

A devoted Nelson grandad who raised thousands of pounds for cancer patients across Lancashire has died.

Mr Geoff Whittaker (64), of Barkerhouse Road, died on Thursday, October 15th, after battling the disease himself.

A plasterer by trade, Mr Whittaker set up his own business G. Whittaker Plastering in 1976, a job which saw him travel the length and breadth of the country. He had the business until 2010 when ill health forced him to retire.

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But it was through his illness that he found a new passion. After visiting the Rosemere Cancer Foundation in Preston, where he had radiotherapy treatment, Mr Whittaker sought to raise the profile and later money for the centre by making and selling goods fashioned from old wooden pallets.

Among his creations were bird boxes, planters and picnic benches for serving afternoon tea which he would then sell at markets across East Lancashire.

Wife Jeannette (66), who said Mr Whittaker was even working in his garage on the morning of his death, vowed to continue the fund-raising in his memory.

“He will be so sadly missed, not just by myself and his two daughters but by so many people who knew him. He touched a lot of people’s lives.”

A keen fisherman who was originally from Haslingden, Mr Whittaker enjoyed many holidays abroad. Two of his favourite destinations were Singapore and Hawaii.

Mrs Whittaker said: “He got so much out of fund-raising and he loved his fishing. With his fund-raising it was like he was going to work. He would go into the garage and it was like Santa’s little workshop. He used to ring me on his mobile to ask me to make him a drink. He was always bright and happy and willing to do a good turn for anyone. He was very very charitable.”

As well as his wife Mr Whittaker leaves his two daughters Amanda (41) and Sarah (39) and grandsons Jamie (17) and Oliver (15) who also plan to continue raising money for Rosemere.