Daughter pays tribute to keen sailor with 'contagious energy'

Roger Harvey, 78, was a keen sailor and loved taking his boat out on the water near Ipswich

Roger Harvey passed away in February having been diagnosed with a tumour in his brain stem - Credit: Virginia Bailey

A woman has paid tribute to her 'very determined and loving' dad, who died from a brain tumour during lockdown. 

Roger Harvey and his family always used to holiday around the east coast thanks to Mr Harvey's love of sailing. They loved it so much that he and Barbara moved to Woodbridge in 2014, a choice that daughter Virginia 'Gini' Bailey, said was "not a surprise at all". 

But in January this year, Roger collapsed suddenly at home and was diagnosed with a tumour in his brain stem. Doctors said any treatment they could offer would likely make his condition worse and Roger sadly died on February 12, aged 78. 

Roger Harvey who died suddenly from a brain tumour in February

Roger Harvey was a keen sailor, walker and engineer - Credit: Virginia Bailey

Speaking about her father, Gini said: "He was just an awesome man. 

"Dad never sat still. He was always doing something. He was a keen sailor, but when he wasn't sailing he was walking, and when he wasn't walking he was tinkering. 

"He was an engineer so was always fixing things - he built my kitchen and the kitchen in his house. And when something needed done, DIY-wise, we knew we could always call dad. 

"He and my mum were childhood sweethearts, which I loved; you don't hear that story as much anymore. They met when mum was 14. 

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"And they saw the world. For a little while they lived in Canada, but they also went trekking in Nepal, walked the Inca trail, climbed mountains in Germany. A week before lockdown they'd just come back from Vietnam. 

"His energy was contagious and he was so generous and loving." 

The symptoms of Mr Harvey's brain tumour were very subtle. Gini, 44, who lives near Tunbridge Wells, said he'd been uncharacteristically anxious during the pandemic and a few weeks before his collapse he backed his car into the front porch - but nobody imagined that his condition would deteriorate so quickly. 

"The hardest thing was not being able to see him," she said. "When they gave him his diagnosis he was on his own. It wasn't until he was put onto palliative care that they let us in - and of course I understand the reasons, but that didn't make it much easier."

Virginia Bailey ran the London Royal Parks half-marathon in memory of her father

Virginia Bailey and her friend Claire Edmonson celebrate their half-marathon success - Credit: Virginia Bailey

The family - including Gini, her sister Kate and her niece Charlotte - have all used exercise and physical activity as an outlet for their grief, with all three raising money for Brain Tumour Research. 

Last week, Gini ran the London's Royal Parks half-marathon with her friend Claire Edmonson, completing the race in two hours and 25 minutes and raising more than £1,600.

She said: "I know my dad would have something to say about me choosing running as my outlet - think of my knees! - but he'd also be really pleased and proud, I know that. He had the same determined streak, so he'd be proud to see all of us doing what we can to raise some much-needed funds to try and prevent this horrible disease."

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