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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Widow's moving tribute to man found dead at Sellafield

The widow of a man found dead at Sellafield has paid tribute to a devoted dad whose death has left a huge hole.

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Tributes: Hayley Lawson with David.

There was standing room only at the funeral of Whitehaven man David Lawson, where his grieving daughters spoke movingly of their pride in him.

An investigation was launched at the atomic complex after the 43-year-old, from Mirehouse, was discovered, but there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

His wife, Hayley, told the News & Star his death has left a huge gap in their lives.

“He was a larger-than-life character, always joking and making people laugh,” she recalled. “He was a devoted dad to Hannah and Kate, more like a friend to them than a dad; they could talk to him about anything.

“He got on well with everyone and had so many friends, you couldn’t go shopping with him without having to keep stopping for him to chat to someone.

“I just can’t believe he’s not here anymore.”

As a mark of respect, Mr Lawson’s employers, Hargreaves, closed down all their sites at Sellafield on the afternoon of his funeral.

A post mortem examination has proved inconclusive, but police have said they do not believe there are suspicious circumstances.

“It would have been hard to cope without the support of my family, friends and neighbours,” Mrs Lawson continued. “David’s employers have been very caring too, calling us to see how we are.”

During the funeral service at Distington Crematorium, Mr Lawson’s teenage daughters read a heartfelt tribute to him.

They said: "Dad, you were more like our friend than our dad. We felt we could come to you with anything and you would always be there for us.

“You were kind, loving and funny and always knew how to make us laugh. We had our ups and down like every other family but we can honestly say we were proud to have called you our dad.”

Mrs Lawson said that, above all, her husband was a family man: “He’d do anything for us. He was always thoughtful and considerate, getting us anything we needed, encouraging the girls with their education.

“He’d help others too. If he saw someone working in the garden he’d offer to lend a hand. He’d sort out any gardening needs his dad, Jim, had too.

“He was so thoughtful, so considerate, really, really easygoing, loving, funny and very much loved.”

She added: “We will never forget him.”

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