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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Obituary - Stephen Relph, of Rosthwaite

The funeral will take place on Monday of an inspirational Borrowdale man who lost his battle against leukaemia, aged 26.

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FIGHTER: Stephen Relph, of Rosthwaite

Stephen Relph, of Rosthwaite, died last Friday after being taken ill two days earlier at his home on Yew Tree Farm where he lived with parents Hazel and Joe.

Both paid emotional tributes to their only son, who had overcome overwhelming odds throughout his life, having been diagnosed with type-one diabetes as a youngster after being born with Down’s Syndrome and then discovering he had leukaemia in his 20s.

Mrs Relph said: “Stephen has left a massive hole that we will fill with immense pride.”

His father added: “Stephen’s life was shaped by everyone around him and the love they had for him.”

They all lived on the farm which Mr Relph helped to run, along with the family’s meat business and popular Flock In tea-room.

His sister Rachel, her husband Ben and their son William also expressed their pride and privilege in having Stephen as an amazing brother and uncle.

Mr Relph’s courage saw him raise more than £15,500 for the Bright Red charity, which tackles blood cancer, by staging an auction at Storms near Keswick in 2011 after he had gone into remission following chemotherapy.

The charity is based at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, where Mr Relph died last Friday.

As well as his parents, friends from the Borrowdale Valley and beyond paid tribute to him. They described him as extraordinary, courageous and a role model, but above all, a gentleman.

Others said he would be remembered as a sensitive person with genuine wisdom, an incredibly quick sense of humour and a passion for helping people. He was also described as respectful, dignified and an inspiration.

Mr Relph, who would have been 27 next month, was working on the family farm up until Wednesday when he was taken ill.

His consultant at hospital in Newcastle said he had been an inspiration to the staff there and that it had been their privilege to have known him because of the determination, courage and dignity he showed.

Mr Relph’s talents and interests were diverse and included a passion for farming along with cooking, Carlisle United and WWF wrestling.

His knowledge of sheep led to him being invited to be a judge for the first time in the Herdwick category at the Penrith Show last month.

He had studied agriculture at Newton Rigg, near Penrith, after attending Borrowdale School and Keswick School.

He was a familiar figure in the Borrowdale Valley, where he was a big part of the local community, and around Keswick.

He is survived by his parents Joe and Hazel, sister Rachel, brother-in-law Ben, nephew William and grandparents Ruth and Lloyd.

His funeral will take place at St Andrew’s Church, Stonethwaite, at 11am on Monday, followed by a churchyard burial.

Have your say

Joe, Hazel & Rachel Please accept our sincere condolences for the loss of your Stephen, who Joe did mention when were visiting for only a few hours back in August 2012. We have ben fortunate enough to have been close to similar situations and are full of admiration for the way people like your Stephen are such contributors to their communities. We Look forward to seeing you again next August

Posted by Stephen & Jill Ireland on 6 March 2014 at 07:49

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