Mum leads tributes to popular lecturer and devoted family man
A lecturer and primary school chair of governors has passed away, aged 50.
Brian Critchley, from Willesborough, died of pancreatic cancer, in the early hours of Wednesday, April 5, at the Pilgrims Hospice with his wife and mum, brother and sister by his side.
He was popular with students and staff as the chair of governors at St Mary’s Primary School in Western Avenue, Ashford.
He leaves behind his two children, wife, sister, brother, mother and father.
His mother, Stella Critchley, 74, said: “He was just adored. Brian was the sort of person with what he did... was him. We were both teachers and we were both passionate about it. Teaching was his life.
“Brian shared with me his passion for his work over a cup of tea many mornings after he’d dropped off his daughters to school nearby.
“He was just one of my very best friends.
“He was an absolutely devoted family man and supported the girls in all their activities ... on the touchline at their football matches, in the audience at their dance shows, in the gallery at their swimming training and at school.
“All of us are a very close family and that’s something that will always be there.”
Mr Critchley, who grew up in Ashford, worked for Royal Mail as a postman moving up to become a trade union official working on regional, national and international levels.
He also worked with TUC educational services as a tutor and lectured in industrial relations at the University of North London, moving on to consultancy work in the social justice theme.
He lectured in business, management and employment at London Metropolitan University and was made a fellow of the Higher Education Academy in recognition of research he carried out into critical thinking.
He also volunteered as a parent governor representative on Kent County Council’s policy oversight and scrutiny committees.
He was also a keen musician, and met his wife Rachael at a gig.
She sang with the Dale Coopers and Brian joined the band as a guitarist.
He also played keyboard, banjo and the violin and enjoyed the pub music scene.
He will be buried at Bybrook Cemetery Green Garden on Wednesday, April 19 at 11am. His family have asked for no flowers, as they are not permitted in the green garden.
‘He was just adored. Brian was the sort of person with what he did... was him’