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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Tributes to Marks & Spencer worker who died suddenly

Tributes have been paid to a Workington man who died suddenly outside the town’s Marks & Spencer store where he worked for 26 years.

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Billy Galea, 53

Billy Galea, 53, of Wastwater Avenue, collapsed on Monday morning outside the store on Pow Street where he worked with his wife and brother.

He had gone to work as normal shortly before 7am when he took his glasses off, leaned against the wall and collapsed of a suspected heart attack.

Staff rushed to his aid and an ambulance was called but paramedics were unable to revive him.

His wife and brother paid tribute to a loyal and devoted family man who was the life and soul of the party.

Widow Angela, 50, said: “We were soul mates. He lived life to the full, every moment of it. Any excuse for a party and he was there.

“My family took to him and my brothers treated him like a brother.

“He would have done anything for me and he adored his granddaughter Imogen.”

The couple had recently returned from Tenerife where they had been celebrating Mrs Galea’s 50th birthday. They had been married for just over a year but had been together for 15 years.

They had met in the store more than two decades ago.

Stephen Galea, 49, of Mitchell Avenue, Northside, who worked alongside his brother, said: “He would do anything for anybody.

“It will be tough going back to work because he won’t be there.”

Mr Galea had worked his way to section co-ordinator, working out of the stock room, and was well-liked and respected in the store.

A keen sports fan, particularly of football and horse racing, he also enjoyed playing in a pub darts team with his friends, singing on karaoke nights and organising quizzes.

A lifelong Spurs supporter, he had been chatting happily about football not long before his death.

He leaves behind sisters Michelle and Evonne, son Kyle, stepchildren Sarah and Gary, and granddaughter Imogen. He was the son of Irene and the late Vincent.

Mr Galea’s funeral service will be held on Monday at 2pm in St Michael’s Church, Workington, followed by interment in Salterbeck.

Marks & Spencer was temporarily closed on Monday as a sign of respect.

Celia Atkinson, Workington manager, said: “Billy was part of the family at Workington Marks & Spencer. He was a popular and trusted member of staff who will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues, as well as customers who have been coming in to pay tribute to him. Our thoughts at this very sad time are with his family.”

Have your say

I worked alongside Billy for a good few years, while working at M&S and was shocked and saddened to hear about him passing away.
My thoughts are with Angela and all the family.
Hope you are winding everyone upstairs up as much as you used to wind me up Billy! Love Carol xxx

Posted by Carol Hobbs on 27 October 2011 at 10:49

Gales was and will be forever my bestmate, I cannot think of words to praise him highly enough at this very sad time.The many many memories I have will be cherished forever.Thank you for some of the happiest moments in my life.The miles don't ease the pain...deepest sympathy to all family and friends. Lez

Posted by Lez Fulton on 21 October 2011 at 10:32

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