HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a ‘loving and kind’ man and former mayor of Lyme Regis Mike Hartley.
Mr Hartley, 79, who lived in Kingsway, Bridport, until he was transferred to Lymewood nursing home approximately four years ago, died at the nursing home on April 24.
He was a much-loved father to Jo, who works as a midwife, and Alan, who lives in Exeter – as well as a much-loved grandfather to Leon, Rosa, Iris, Adah and Delilah.
Mr Hartley has been described by his wife Lin, 70, as a ‘gentleman and loving man, who did whatever he could to help people’.
He was born in South Africa and joined Lyme Regis Town Council after moving to Uplyme from London. He was mayor of Lyme Regis from 1989 to 1991.
Following this, Mr Hartley ran Sturch’s fruit and vegetable shop on Broad Street in Lyme Regis with his wife for more than 30 years.
He was also president of the Lyme Regis Rotary Club, part of the Lyme Regis junior band and the pantomime society.
Mr Hartley suffered from dementia and his health slowly declined following a heart attack 10 years ago.
Mrs Hartley added: “Mike was such a big presence in the community here.
“After his heart attack, his health declined to the extent where I simply couldn’t have him at home anymore.
“It was incredibly tough but Mike had to move in to the Lymewood nursing home.
“The home has been absolutely fantastic and treated Mike with such special care; I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all of the staff there.
“Mike also truly loved the fruit and vegetable shop; it was his life and he treasured it.”
Clive Cobb from the Town Mill Bakery in Lyme, described Mr Hartley as ‘a man with a big heart and an even bigger sense of humour’.
He added: “Mike’s illness started eight years ago; we have missed him for some time but now he is really gone.
“He was also a man with great integrity who loved the town he lived in.”
Town councillor Mark Gage added: “I personally remember Mike’s greengrocers; he was a big presence in the town and will certainly be missed.
“Our condolences go to his wife Lin and his family at this difficult time.”
Mr Hartley’s funeral service will be held at St Michael’s church in Lyme Regis from 11am on Friday, May 9.
Everyone is welcome but Mr Hartley’s family ask for no flowers. Instead, donations can be made to the Lymewood Nursing Home in Uplyme.