Mum leads trib­utes to pop­u­lar lec­turer and de­voted fam­ily man

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Tributes -

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’

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