A loved former headteacher has died unexpectedly this week, leaving a ‘huge hole’ in the hearts of everybody who knew him.
Mike Richards, headteacher at Peak Dale Primary School from 1983 to 2009, died suddenly at home on Saturday, aged 66.
In the wake of his sad passing, partner of 22 years, Stephanie Lund, said Mike was a true inspiration to his family, friends and the generations of pupils he taught.
Stephanie said: “I will miss him so much, as will everybody who knew him.
“His death is going to leave a huge hole in my heart, the hearts of his family, and all the children he taught.
“Mike was so special to everybody who knew him. He really was loved.”
She added: “Mike was such a gentle, kind and loving person. Meeting him completely changed my life.
“We used to go walking together, we did a lot of travelling. We had a caravan and had so many special holidays together, in England and abroad.”
Mike leaves behind two daughters, one son, one step daughter, one step son and seven grandchildren.
Youngest daughter Alison Richards said: “He really was an amazing person. He was calm, good natured and had time for everybody. He will be dearly missed.”
Mike was great outdoor enthusiast and loved hiking and cycling with friends and family. He was an excellent chef and embraced new technology. Mike was awarded a 25 year Long Service award for his time at Peak Dale school.
Stephanie said: “We never got round to marriage, but I think we would have done when the time was right. We were planning to go to Cyprus in 2016 as we both loved it so much.”
Stephanie said Mike was in good health prior to his death and had been on two hikes in the days before
She said: “Mike enriched people’s lives. He never swore and rarely raised his voice. He was extremely tolerant and non-judgemental of people.
“Speaking with people locally; there is an enormous depth of feeling, his death has left the village numb.”
A date for Mike’s funeral has yet to be confirmed.