Charity man Tony leaves lasting legacy

Submitted pic for obit of Tony Barlow
Submitted pic for obit of Tony Barlow

TRIBUTES have been paid to a man who dedicated his life to improving health care in Wakefield.

Tony Barlow was chief executive of Wakefield and District Health and Community Support (WDHCS) and worked hard to raise money for vital equipment for the city hospitals and Wakefield Hospice.

The charity was formerly the Wakefield and District Hospitals Contributory Scheme and he started working for them as a company secretary in 1986.

His work saw donations given to hospitals for equipment they could not otherwise afford and set up First Steps Day Nursery and a complimentary therapy centre near their site on Peterson Road.

He also provided Wakefield Talking Newspapers with a place to meet and was a regular at the Bishop’s Breakfast.

Mr Barlow, who had diabetes, died on June 22 from kidney failure, aged 60.

His daughter Karen Buttery, 34, said: “He was quite modest about what he did, but was very proud of what he achieved.

“He always wanted to help people and had a big heart.

“He was well thought of and well respected. He was just a lovely person and would go out if his way to help people.”

“People knew he was poorly, but we didn’t expect anything like this to happen so quickly.”

Mrs Buttery’s husband Richard is now chief executive of WDHCS and said his father-in-law continues to be well respected.

Mr Barlow, of Darton, also leaves behind daughter Zoe Stewardson, 31, and three grandchildren.

He was a member of Yorkshire Healers, the British Meditation Society and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).

A funeral service was held in Darton on Monday.

Mrs Buttery added that the family had been overwhelmed by messages of support from people across the city, including the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten.