Tributes paid to inspirational Ipswich nurse and tutor Chris Fendley
- Credit: CONTRIBUTED BY FAMILY
A long-serving Suffolk nurse who has died at the age of 72 has been remembered as a “caring” family man and a “champion” of the NHS.
Chris Fendley, from the Chantry area of Ipswich, was a nurse for 41 years specialising in emergency care and trauma, and then became a nurse tutor.
He died on April 23 - his 72nd birthday - from heart failure.
Raised in Denver near Kings Lynn in Norfolk, Chris joined the Army as a medic when he was just 15.
After around seven years in the forces, Chris moved to Ipswich and started work at the Anglesea Road A&E before transferring to the Heath Road site.
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He and his wife Yvonne were married for 51 years after meeting in the Army and Chris was said to be “incredibly devoted” to her.
Chris was a nursing lecturer at Suffolk College, Ipswich Hospital and the University of Suffolk before his retirement in 2009.
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He leaves behind six children, Dawn Burridge, Karen Hewitt, Gillian Nunn and Steven, Nathan and Shawn Fendley, as well as nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Paying tribute to his father, Shawn, 32 and from Ipswich, said: “He was very passionate about the NHS and a champion of it.”
He added: “He was an amazing dad, he never let any of us down and he was very hands on with the grandchildren. He was a very caring person.”
Shawn said the family had received hundreds of “heartwarming” messages online from former colleagues and students who had been inspired by Chris.
One Facebook user wrote: “Chris was someone to aspire to, admire and follow as a great example of the nursing profession.”
These comments have been a “great comfort” to the family, particularly Yvonne, Shawn said.
Ipswich Hospital matron Roz Yale said: “Chris was very well-known and played a big part in hospital life for many years.
“Many colleagues and students have fond memories of working and being taught by him.
“We send our condolences to Chris’ family.”
Julie Macleod, from the School of Health Sciences at the University of Suffolk, added: “Chris was always very friendly and approachable.
“He knew all the students by name and would go out of his way to help and support students through their nursing careers, from pre-registration to post-registration studies.
“He was very much missed by staff and students on his retirement and we are very sad to hear of his passing.”
In retirement, Chris turned his attention to working on his garden, making art, wood-carving, spending time with family and walking his dog Miffie.
The funeral will be held at Seven Hills Crematorium in Nacton on Wednesday, May 23 at 11.15am and anyone who knew Chris is welcome to attend.