A teacher who was well loved has left his family members and students in shock after he died of a disease he didn't know he had. The teacher identified as Ian Kemp, taught at the Nuneaton campus of North Warwickshire and Hinckley College for almost 30 years, died aged just 57.
Neither he nor his family knew he had cancer, which made his sudden illness and death even harder for his wife Kim and daughters Deborah, Rachael and Jackie to come to terms with, reports Conventry Telegraph.
But Rachael has said that their huge loss has been made slightly easier to bear by the groundswell of support and tributes made to the man who she described as the “best dad, best grandad and best friend”.
“It was completely out of the blue,” she explained.
“We didn’t even know he was ill, he didn’t know he had cancer, neither did we, and it all happened so suddenly.
“What we didn’t realise was he touched so many lives, the amount of comments that we have had from people, so many people have said what a kind guy he was.
“We have been able to take some comfort from the fact that he helped so many people, and it gives you a humbling feeling to know how loved he was.”
Before he started at the college Ian worked as a semi-skilled capstan operator at Arrowsmith Engineers in Bayton Road, Exhall.
The teacher was popular and loved by students of the school. He became involved in running youth clubs, including Park House and Sobers, and was then introduced to youth work at the college.
“His journey started from there,” Rachael explained.
“I always remember him being there (at the college) and we know he loved what he did.
“Most people would remember him from there, he was a student liaison officer, he was there for anyone if they needed a chat. That was just him all over, he was the best dad, best grandad and the best friend.”
Marion Plant OBE, principal and chief executive at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, was keen to pay tribute to the much-loved staff member.
“Ian was a much-loved member of our college community,” she said.
“Working with us for 29 years, most recently as our Student Voice Co-ordinator, his hard work and dedication had a huge impact on both students and staff.
“Ian will be deeply missed and our thoughts and love are with Ian’s family at this time.”
He sadly passed away on Tuesday, February 21, and his heartbroken family are still struggling with their loss.
“He would have normally spent the half term doing something with his grandkids, but he’s not here, there’s so much we all keep thinking he would be doing, and then there is nothing,” she added.
The family will say their final goodbye on Tuesday, March 7, just days after what have been Ian’s 58th birthday tomorrow.