Philip Staley 1945 – 2000
From the Parish News – February 2001Denton Parishioners were shocked in the first week of November by the news of the death of Phil Staley aged only 55 years. As was aptly expressed at the Denton Village Dinner "Phil was one of those people who gave more to the village than he received from it."
Born in Gloucester, he was proud of his native county and always retained his West Country accent. Throughout his life he was enthusiastic for all sports: he ran for his school and county in cross country events, and continued walking and cycling all his life, frequently cycling to work in Norwich, weather permitting. Family holidays were taken walking and climbing in the Lake District area.
Phil served for 12 years in the RAF working with Air Traffic Control. In 1968 he married Angela, who came from nearby Cheltenham; they had known each other in a group of young people for several years. They moved to Denton with their son Lee in 1977 when Phil left the RAF and found work as a computer operator at Boulton & Paul in Norwich. Soon after their arrival Laura was born, and somehow managed to share the same birthday as her brother Lee. At this time Phil became particularly involved with Denton Youth Club where he made a very significant contribution.
In 1985 with the closure of the Norwich branch of Boulton & Paul, he made a complete change of career when he took a lease on a Readymix Concrete lorry, later increasing this to two lorries, which kept him very busy, but he was always willing to take part in village activities, especially if there was a sporting aspect. He also was a keen bird watcher with regular visits to Minsmere, and was quite an expert at solving cryptic crossword puzzles.
Sadly on 19th September after concern at a loss of feeling in the left hand side of his body, a brain tumour was diagnosed. In spite of repeated operations and visits to Addenbrooks and Norwich Hospitals, he lost his battle on November 6th. The family had suffered three bereavements over the previous twelve months with the loss of Phil's mother and both of Angela's parents. Phil was taken back to his beloved Gloucester for the funeral to be near his family.
By donating just Phil's corneas, two people have received sight-restoring operations.