Farewell, Steve Evans, and thank you

16 January 2014
Steve Evans, who did so much to way raise awareness of the importance of end of life discussions, and whose humour, wisdom and complete lack of self pity as he shared his story of living with incurable stomach cancer won him legion fans worldwide, died last Thursday.

The 52-year-old father of two from Wolverhampton became a media star following regular appearances on Richard Bacon's Radio 5 Live show and the BBC’s Breakfast programme.

A building surveyor for Wolverhampton City Council for 32 years, Steve was also a comedian and magician, performing at Wolverhampton Civic, where staff recently erected a plaque to him on the Black Country Wall of Fame, alongside composer Edward Elgar, Slade star Noddy Holder and comedian Lenny Henry.  

Steve pictured at Christmas 2013Last year, Steve (pictured, right, at Christmas) worked with Dying Matters to raise awareness of the need to speak openly about death, dying and bereavement, and to plan for the end of life. Communications Director Joe Levenson said:  "I had the privilege of speaking to Steve on several occasions, including last May ahead of his appearance on BBC Breakfast TV on the first day of our Dying Matters Awareness Week.

"What shone through above all was his friendliness and his desire to do whatever he could to help and support others through telling his story and talking honestly about his own experience of being terminally ill. I'm sure I'm not alone in having been inspired by him, not least in the past few months as he continued to share his journey with such openness and honesty."

Dying Matters Director of Public Engagement Sam Turner added: "Steve was a man whose generosity of spirit knew no bounds. Despite his own difficult circumstances he spent time supporting both Dying Matters and me personally to get the message out there telling people to talk and plan for the end of their lives. We are sad that he's gone but extremely grateful to have had the chance to get to know a truly remarkable man." 

Steve was due to speak at our Day of the Dead event in November last year but was sadly too unwell to attend. This didn't stop him recording a presentation, which received a rapturous reception from the audience.

Watch Steve's Day of the Dead presentation

Steve loved Twitter, saying that in his dark moments it gave him "as much love as any one human being can cope with". His uplifting tweets gained him a following of more than 26,000 people worldwide, many of whom found solace and inspiration in his words. And it was on Twitter, aptly, that his daughter shared the news of his death at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital early on Thursday morning, tweeting : “This is Meg. This is a message 2all. The man that is Dad had passed peacefully in his sleep. We thank you for all your support xxx””

Many of his followers had begun to say goodbye last Sunday as Steve revealed he was coming to the end of what he called  his “journey”. He was interviewed for the last time earlier this week by Richard Bacon, who had become his friend and who visited him in hospital. During the interview, Steve said: “Love is all around and I am so blessed that I have had so much around me.”

Our thoughts are with Steve's wife, Septina, and daughters Megan and Lauren. 

Twitter tributes have been pouring in for Steve

Twitter tributes to Steve Evans

Listen to Steve's final interview with Richard Bacon

Listen to more of Steve's interviews with Richard Bacon

A JustGiving page has been set up in Steve's memory to raise money for Compton Hospice, a charity in Steve's beloved home town of Wolverhampton: www.justgiving.com/Sue-Oakley2

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