A new light will shine out from a hospice Christmas tree this year in memory of a man once so full of life that his community spirit lives on.
Former captain of the Grand Turk Ian Macdougal died in Saint Catherine’s Hospice at the start of this year after battling cancer.
And since then, wife Angie, who met Ian while she was working at Whitby hospital, has got through her grief by fundraising for the hospice.
She marked what would have been his 70th birthday with a fundraiser at the Horseshoe pub in Levisham, raising £1,333 for Saint Catherine’s and £570 for the Macmillan unit at Scarborough Hospital.
She raised another £700 at a pilates and yoga session.
Angie was swept up into Ian’s exciting life when she was working at the hospital and he was the captain of the replica warship based in Whitby harbour.
“He used to say he walked in with toothache and walked out with heartache,” Angie said. “He was such a larger-than-life character. He was so happy – we both were.”
As a stuntman, he had worked in James Bond films, but had also helped causes including the Dunkirk Little Ships and taught sailing to disadvantaged youngsters.
The couple married in 2012 close to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway where Ian had been a volunteer fireman/driver. They spent months in the Canaries and the Caribbean where Ian worked as a marine engineer.
But then Ian was diagnosed with prostate cancer. For months, he was well before being told the cancer had spread.
Angie said: “We were still so positive. Nothing had ever beaten Ian. We really thought we’d get through it.”
A Macmillan nurse from the hospice supported the family, visiting them at their home in Pickering, but by December last year, Ian’s health was failing and in January he moved into the hospice for his last three weeks.
She added: “People there were so understanding. I was absolutely worn out, and the nurses knew that. They took over and did everything so that all I had to concentrate my energy on was just being there for Ian.”
And although it was a terrible time, there were memories to treasure, like the time the hospice granted Ian’s wish and cooked him kippers and the days when friends filled his room with laughter – including one who brought his dog.