Skip to content

Special Light Up a Life dedication in memory of local dad.

Maria has been supporting our Light Up a Life campaign for 29 years as a special way to remember her dad, William, who died in the Hospice in March 1993. Each year Maria and her mum, Rellis, dedicate a light on the tree for William as their way of buying a Christmas gift for him.

“Dad was born in Heslington in 1947 where he lived until he met and married mum in 1972, when they bought their first house in Fishergate.  Dad was working as a college porter at the University of York where mum also worked as an assistant cook.  It was a whirlwind romance. They met on Valentine’s Day, were married in November and I was born the following year.  They were very happily married for 20 years until his death in 1993.

“Dad had a passion for antiques, and he also liked a car boot or two.  He was a very likeable and fun-loving person to be around and got on with everybody he met.

“He was never ill apart from the usual coughs and colds, so it was a complete shock when he was given the devastating news that he had stomach cancer in November 1992. He went into hospital at the beginning of December for surgery but sadly the cancer was so advanced there was nothing they could do.  He went into St Leonard’s Hospice in March 1993 where he sadly passed away.  He was just 45 years old.  The nursing staff were brilliant and provided excellent care both to him and to us, allowing us to stay over when he was near the end of life so that we could be with him right until the very end. 

 “The staff at the Hospice do a fantastic job. By supporting its Light Up a Life campaign we are not only remembering dad, but also see it as our way of thanking St Leonard’s for the fantastic care that he received.

“Along the way we have also added other friends and family members that we have lost over the years.  As we can no longer buy our loved ones a Christmas card or present, this is our way of celebrating their lives and keeping their memory alive.”

Support like Maria’s and Rellis’ means St Leonard’s can continue to help even more people facing life-limiting illnesses and bereavement.

There is still time to dedicate a light for a loved one this year.

Dedicate & donate