TRIBUTES have been paid to a devoted father-of-two who lost his brave battle with cancer, aged just 42.
Loved ones, friends and well-wishers packed Clitheroe Parish Church on Friday for the funeral service of Andrew Jackson, who died in hospital after suffering with cancer of the oesophagus.
Born and brought up in Clitheroe, Andrew attended St Michael and St John Primary School before being educated at St Augustine’s RC High School, Billington.
He then attended Accrington and Rossendale College and completed a three-year engineering apprenticeship – winning two major awards, including Apprentice of the Year – for his excellent achievements.
On completion of his studies, he worked at Lodematic in Clitheroe and joined Clitheroe Light Engineering in 1990, and quickly progressed through the firm and became a senior programmer training younger recruits.
Andrew met his wife Joanne seven years ago and the couple married in Cyprus in 2008.
Andrew has three sons – his eldest son Tom (15), from a previous relationship, four-year-old Charlie and two-year-old Alfie.
Joanne described Andrew as a “brave man” who always remained positive and determined to beat the illness.
She said: “Alfie was only three months old when Andrew was diagnosed.
“In September 2010, he started a dose of chemotherapy, but had to have part of his oesophagus and stomach surgically removed in January 2011.
“He remained at Royal Blackburn Hospital for three-and-a-half months.
“He had another dose of chemotherapy between June and October 2011, during which time he was able to return to work, but in December 2011 he underwent a CT scan which unfortunately revealed his cancer had returned.
“Despite this, he remained strong and wanted to make the most of his remaining time with his family and friends.”
Paying tribute, she added: “Andrew was my best friend. Andrew looked after me, he cooked for me – there was nothing he wouldn’t do for me and the boys.
“He had a smile that could light up any room, and it was very rare not to see that smile on his face, even when he was really sick.
“Andrew loved life and he always embraced new experiences – there was nothing he wouldn’t try to do. He has left a legacy with his three boys – Tom, Charlie and Alfie.
“Before he died, Andrew organised Alfie’s christening, and one of his last outings was to Derby County, where he went to watch Tom play in the English Schools’ Under-15s Cup Final. He was very proud.”
Andrew’s work colleague, Helen Meloy, who is the managing director of Clitheroe Light Engineering, paid tribute to a hard-working individual.
She added: “Andrew was a people person and was always happy to help a lot of the lesser skilled workers. He loved his work, excelled in it and was a well-respected key member of staff. He will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure to know and work with him.”
Andrew is survived by his wife Joanne, sons Tom, Charlie and Alfie, parents Jerome and Margaret, and brother, Simon.