Tributes are paid to modest charity fundraiser Leo

Leo Joseph Bury, who has died aged 78
Leo Joseph Bury, who has died aged 78

Relatives have paid tribute to a charity stalwart who worked tirelessly for diabetes sufferers.

Born in Preston in 1937, Leo Bury, who worked as a manager for the Prudential Assurance Company from 1962 to his retirement in 1992 leaving as district manager in Preston, moved to Langho in 1975 with his wife Barbara who he was married to for 53 years and his children Christopher, Andrew and Joanne.

When daughter Joanne was diagnosed in 1981 with type 1 diabetes aged 12, Leo and Barbara immediately got involved with local parents and the children support group under the supervision of Dr Sadru Jivanni, at Blackburn Royal Hospital. Leo subsequently became treasurer for the group and worked tirelessly to promote it over the next 15 years. During this time he helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for the group through continual promotions and fundraising activities.

Leo’s son Andrew explained: “The funds initially provided help and support for children with diabetes to understand their condition and assist them in managing their daily health issues to allow them to run normal healthy lives. “This came at a time when diabetes was massively underfunded, and misunderstood, by the NHS. This support helped numerous local children maintain their medical condition and to take control of their condition.

“With further fundraising the group were able to contribute towards the training of a specialist nurse whose work further contributed to the children’s and families’ understanding of diabetes.”

The group also provided day trips and weekend residential trips which allowed local children with diabetes to meet other children with the condition.

Andrew added: “The group funded all children with diabetes regardless of background or ability. In fundraising dad even recruited the support of numerous local businessmen, international companies and well known celebrities. He even got the personal support for the group of Jack Walker.”

In retirement, grandfather-of-seven Mr Bury enjoyed gardening and golf. In fact he was a member of Wilpshire, Abersoch and Pwhelli Golf Clubs for more than 20 years.

Leo died suddenly in the Royal Blackburn Hospital on Sunday where his family are grateful for the excellent first class care from the entire medical and support teams he received there.

A mass will be held St Mary’s Church, Langho, at 11-30 am on Monday then at Pleasington Crematorium.

Any donations will be given to Diabetes UK and the Macmillian Cancer Support.