TRIBUTES have been paid to a “caring teacher” and an “amazing dad” who died of a heart attack, aged just 37.
Ellesmere father-of-three Gareth Utting was rushed to hospital on Wednesday night and later died from what is believed to be a heart attack.
The English teacher at Thomas Adams School in Wem leaves his wife, Alison, and three young children, Sam, 14, Ioan, four, and Catrin, one.
Alison Utting, who married Gareth on August 4, 2011, after meeting at Thomas Adams School in Wem seven years ago, said: “He was an amazing man and an incredible husband. Both of our sets of friends would tell you we were so much happier together than we were before.
“He had amazing energy and had a great relationship with the pupils. He made a huge difference in the lives of the children he taught.
“He was an amazing dad and was totally hands on with them.”
Alison says she is in shock at Gareth’s sudden death.
She continued: “We had no idea at all this would happen. Gareth’s father died in his 40s of a heart attack, which at the time seemed shockingly young, but now it doesn’t so much.
“He was always aware he had that genetic disposition and he looked after himself. He was so active, he would do martial arts three times a week, he was always keeping fit at home.
“When the pain started on Wednesday he thought it was a muscular pain. He had been doing pull-ups on the kids’ climbing frame.
“We thought he had hurt his back and when he went in the ambulance to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital I didn’t go with him because I didn't think it was anything too serious. They said they wanted to check for an irregular heart rhythm.
“But while he was in hospital he had a second heart attack. The staff in the A&E department were utterly brilliant, they did CPR on him for nearly two hours. They had called me in at that point but he was unconscious.”
Elizabeth Dakin, headteacher at Thomas Adams School, said: “Mr Utting was a popular and hardworking member of staff and we have all been shocked and moved by his loss.
“He leaves all his teaching groups and colleagues with such fond memories particularly of his sense of humour,” she added.
Mr Utting was an instructor in Eskrima, a form of martial arts, the leader of the St Martins Beavers and was an active member of Penycae Church, Wrexham.
Scout leader Nic Pickles, who worked alongside Mr Utting at the St Martins Beavers group, said: “He was a lovely person who was kind, caring and funny.
“He will be very missed, the boys and girls at the Beavers were all very fond of him. It has been such a shock. He was a lovely, gentle, caring bloke.”
l A funeral service for Gareth Utting will take place at St Mary’s Church, Ellesmere, on Monday, April 14 at 11am.
People attending the funeral are encouraged to wear bright clothing. Donations to Tearfund.