Derek Mead: ‘A loving and generous man with his feet firmly planted in the Great British Countryside’

PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:14 17 July 2017

Derek Mead and Geri Callen.

Derek Mead and Geri Callen.

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The long-term partner of Derek Mead has paid tribute to a man with ‘a boundless energy for life’ in the wake of his funeral on Friday.

Businessman, farmer and councillor Mr Mead died last month in a tractor accident on his farm in Hewish, and the 70-year-old’s funeral service was held at Wick St Lawrence Church last week.

His partner Geri Callen met Mr Mead in 2003 and the pair went on to live together, while also teaming up in his business, charity and political ventures.

Speaking in the wake of his funeral, she thanked well-wishers for the support shown since his death, and paid tribute to Mr Mead’s ‘generous and humble’ character and his far-reaching impact on the community.

She told the Mercury: “Tenacious, gritty, determined, hard-nosed, self-opinionated; that’s how many people would remember Derek.

“But, the private Derek was a loving, kind, generous-hearted man with his feet firmly planted in the Great British countryside and his local community.

“Always looking for mischief in life, and of course the odd property or business deal here and there, he was always up for some banter with a wry sense of humour.

“There was never a dull moment with Derek; from the time he opened his eyes in the morning to late into the night, he had a boundless energy for life.

“He was also a fierce combatant in his farming and political life, often inviting or adopting challenges.

“I experienced the fact, many times over the years while with him at campaigns and within political environments, that he was often viewed with the same caution as Marmite – you either loved him or did not have the taste for him. But, I have yet to meet a person who did not either marvel at him, admire him or respect him.

“I was privileged and proud to spend the time I did with Derek and there is a big space in mine and many other lives now.

“I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ for the respect shown by the many people who came to the funeral and those who have sent messages, cards, flowers and letters to myself and the family since his passing; this has been of great comfort.

“Derek was a humble man in many ways and would be deeply touched by the show of affection and respect at his funeral.

“Memories are all we are left with, but many have a story with them. In Derek’s case I would say ‘keep telling the stories’ – that would make him smile.”

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