A FAMILY has raised more than £2,000 for a South Tyneside hospice in memory of a much-loved husband, father and grandfather.
Tony Nye had battled asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma for two years before being admitted to St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow.
The 62-year-old, of Long Row, Market Dock, South Shields, was taken in on March 1 to have his medication changed, but passed away two days later.
His family asked for donations for the hospice at his funeral, which was attended by more than 250 people.
Mr Nye, who worked in the shipyards for between six months and a year before serving his time as an electrician with South Tyneside Council, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2011 after complaining of chest pains.
Daughter Donna May, 34, of Brass Thill Way, Westoe Crown Village, South Shields, said: “He was really strong, really positive and fought it all the way.”
Mr Nye was originally given 11 months to live, but had radiotherapy and chemotherapy to prolong his life and took part in drugs trials at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in Newcastle.
The father-of-three and grandfather-of-five lived in South Shields all his life.
He served with the Territorial Army and ran the Harbour Lights football club as a young man and worked as an electrician at home and abroad, travelling as far away as Tunisia and the Bahamas. He and his wife of 25 years, Janet, 56, ran The Wine Shop at The Nook in South Shields, as well as the online business Gifts 2 Drink.
Mrs May said: “He was a real hard worker. Both he and my mam worked hard and they were hoping to retire together and travel.”
Mr Nye worked until he started chemotherapy, most recently for Nissan in Sunderland.
Only close family and friends knew of his illness, as he didn’t want people to treat him any differently and found it very hard to be cared for after years of caring for his family.
Mrs May said: “He was very bubbly, outgoing and witty. He was a very determined person, but he was also very caring and a good listener.
“He was always the person I went to if I ever had any problems.”
She said the staff at St Clare’s were “amazing” to her father and the family as a whole.
She added: “The care was fantastic and because he was very anxious, they really looked after him well when we weren’t there. They were amazing for us as well as him.”
A further £150 was raised via the collection plate for St Hilda’s Church in South Shields, where Mr Nye’s funeral was held.