Tributes to Alvaston grandfather Dick Allison who loved life
TRIBUTES have been paid to a 48-year-old Alvaston grandfather described as "a big man with a big heart".
Dick Allison died at the home he shared with his wife, Ann, who found her husband of 19 years collapsed on the bathroom floor after he complained of suffering from trapped wind.
She said: "I thought he was joking. I started to pull the hairs on his legs, telling him to get up. But he didn't.
"I couldn't believe he had died. The doctors said that a blood clot had got into his lung."
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The pair married in 1993 and Ann said it was their meeting that made Dick change his ways.
She said: "He was a bit of a bad lad when we met but he turned his life round when we got together. He always said I was the best thing that ever happened to him."
Ann had two children, Callum Johnston, 29, and Ross Johnston, from a previous marriage. Dick became their stepfather.
Ross, 26, said: "I always said my dad bought me up and Dick taught me to be a man.
"He was always careful. When I was learning to drive he would always be making sure everything was right with the car and he would never let me go on my bike without my jacket."
Bikes were one of Dick's main passions. Ann said: "He loved Moto GP. Rossi was our favourite rider because we saw him grow up.
"He didn't have a road licence, although that sometimes didn't stop him from riding every now and again. He did have a racing licence and would go to track days.
"One day I went down with him to what I thought was a track day for him and it turned out he had booked for me to drive a Ferrari.
"I was amazed."
That playful spirit was one of the things that Ann, who works as a cleaner and midday supervisor, remembers so vividly about her husband.
She said: "He would always ask me 'Do I make you laugh, Chaddy?' – that was his nickname for me because I'm originally from Chaddesden.
"And I would always say 'of course you do', and he would be happy."
It is Dick's positive outlook on life that Ann says is helping her after his death. She said: "I know that he would be looking down saying 'Come on, Chaddy, I made you stronger than that'.
" I have been so lucky with how everyone has supported me".
At her home there are more than 50 cards from friends, neighbours and relatives expressing condolences.
Ann said: "I've never been hugged by so many people. It's been amazing."
Dick's funeral is open for anyone to attend and will take place on Tuesday at Markeaton Crematorium at 1.20pm. There is a wake at the Cornishman pub, Holbrook Road, Holbrook Road.
All inquiries should be made to the Co-operative Funeralcare, Allenton. Tel 01332 349925.