Tributes to Welwyn Garden City hospice trustee
A FOUNDING treasurer of the Isabel Hospice, who was also a trustee from 1983 to 2004, has died.
Brian Hester, a WGC resident for 40 years, will be remembered by his family as a “person who lived life to the full”.
One of his daughters, Sarah Lacaille, said: “He was always busy, always an optimist, his glass was always half-full and he was great fun.
“He was extremely generous with both his time and his money and always liked to help people. He had a keen mind and had a fantastic sense of humour telling endless jokes and stories.
“He was a very loving man and he was very proud of his family. We will all miss him, terribly.”
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Professionally, after achieving first place in national Civil Service exams, Brian was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Taxes and managed several tax offices, before working for holiday firm Thomson for 20 years - it was here where he was given the chance to travel all over the World - despite never having a passport before this time.
He used his occupational knowledge to help with funding local Catholic churches and with the hospice, whose trustee chairman, Mike Freeman, said Brian was influential with its launch.
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Mike added: “Brian was part of the small group formed in 1982, led by Isabel Last, which founded the Welwyn Hatfield Hospice Care Service, later to become Isabel Hospice.
“This group, and Brian in particular, simply never gave up as they built up the financial and other support necessary if the Hospice was to grow and to reach out to the many people in our community living with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. Brian served as a trustee and as treasurer of the hospice from 1983 to 2004 and in doing so built the financial foundations to ensure that the hospice will always be there for those who need our care.
“Brian was a lovely man and at his funeral on Monday we heard how his kindness, generosity and support had touched the lives of so many in our community. He was thoughtful and considerate and had a wonderful sense of humour which sustained us through many difficult times. Our Hospice and the wider community of Welwyn Hatfield and the rest of eastern Hertfordshire owe Brian a huge debt of gratitude, and we will miss him terribly.
“Everyone at Isabel Hospice joins with me in sending our sincerest condolences to Brian’s family.”
Born in Horwich, Lancashire, as one of seven, he went to Thornleigh Roman Catholic Grammar School in Bolton and as well as studying hard, he played football for the school team.
At heart Brian remained a northerner.
He was a keen lover of sport, being a member at Mill Green Golf Club and supporting Bolton Wanderers FC, before he got a season ticket at Arsenal, who he adopted as his second team.
It was fitting of course that the last match he saw was between his two teams Arsenal and Bolton, with his favourites Bolton winning 2-1.
Brian died on Saturday, April 30, aged 74. He is survived by his wife of 52 years Doreen, five children, Tim, Sarah, Kath, Liz and Clare, as well as his 16 grandchildren.
His funeral was held on Monday at the Holy Family Church. Donations were collected for the hospice, which are still accepting cheques in Brian’s memory.