Tributes paid to North Staffordshire dad-of-four with ‘heart of gold’ who’d been given just nine months to live 


Tributes have been paid to a dad-of-four who was given just nine months to live after being struck down with cancer.

David Barrs was given the bombshell news after being diagnosed with kidney cancer in January and forced to give up his job as a care assistant.

The 65-year-old, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, died last month at the Royal Stoke University Hospital after suffering a stroke. His funeral was held at Bradwell Crematorium.

Now son, Stephen Barrs, has led tributes to the dad with a ‘heart of gold’.

The 30-year-old, from Chell Heath, said: “He was being cared for by my little brother’s mum in Kidsgrove. I was at the hospital with her and we left just before 1pm on May 6. 

“When I got home at around 1.30pm I had a call from the nurse. She had checked in on him at 1pm and he was still with us but by 1.15pm he had gone. Within 15-minutes of leaving him he had passed away.

“It was a mixture of feelings. I was partly relieved because he was no longer in pain but there was the natural upset too. You don’t think it will happen to you or your family, life has changed.

Pictured left to right: Stephen, David’s daughter Louise and David

“We are all supporting each other. Naturally it’s like you have to adapt. We’ve had our difficult moments. There are things that remind you of him in everyday life and memories and areas that you have fond memories of. My life has got a lot smaller.”

The grandad-of-one had taught horticulture at Stoke-on-Trent College for a number of years. He also enjoyed kayaking, sailing and cycling.

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Stephen added: “We’d go to national parks and he would walk around and show us the trees, plants, nature and the birds, he loved birdwatching. 

“I would ride my bike with my dad and I get constant reminders, it’s all quite fresh. I have got a younger brother who has just turned 10 and he would try to instil the natural world into him and go for walks with him in the park.

“He found it difficult to say no and he would always bend over backwards for anybody, particularly his children. 

David and his son Levi (10)
David and his son Levi (10)

“He stopped working just before January because of his cancer. He was struggling to work so he had to finish. He was doing it for the last 10 years and he enjoyed doing what he did.”

David’s hobbies included recording music artists. He had more than 1,000 subscribers on Youtube and in excess of 9,000 videos.

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Stephen added: “He loved recording music and being among people from all walks of life. He lived for it and wouldn’t think twice about going Birmingham or wherever just to record. 

“He would turn up early, set up and talk to the artists. He would help them set up too. He got paid for some things but he also did things for free because he loved it that much.

“It wasn’t until six months before his diagnosis that he’d kind of stopped, he retracted from it.

“We knew he had three to six months give or take but wasn’t expecting the blood clot and stroke to happen. He will be hugely missed.”





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