Tributes paid to former college lecturer who died after tragic fall

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Tributes have been paid to a former lecturer following his death at the age of 68.

Graham Wilson was born in Leeds in 1948 and moved to Halifax in 1975 when he was employed as a lecturer at the former Percival Whitley College.

His career started with teaching general studies to apprentices on day release. As times changed he taught young adults with learning difficulties, before specialising in the education of deaf students.

After leaving Calderdale College, he taught at Bradford College before his retirement.

Mr Wilson lived in Illingworth before moving to Haugh Shaw Road and then Newstead. His final home was the Toll Bar House, opposite St Stephen’s Church, Copley.

He had admired the increasingly derelict building for many years. Having finally got the chance to own it, he restored it in the 1990s, doing much of the work himself.

Mr Wilson was well known in and around Halifax from his work and social activities. He was a keen runner, walker and saxophonist. Graham was politically active in the labour and trade union movement. He dedicated a year of his life in the 1980s to supporting the striking miners.

His family described him as an “internationalist” in outlook, who believed there was more to unite people across countries than there was to divide them.

They said: “He was a committed anti-racist and in favour of equal rights for gay people long before these views were orthodox.”

Mr Wilson’s retirement was increasingly affected by Parkinson’s disease, though he refused to allow it to stop the activities he enjoyed.

His family said he cut “a recognisable figure, with his stooped posture and unusual gait”.

Mr Wilson enjoyed time with his friends and family, including his much-loved partner Veronica and his children and grandchildren.

He died after suffering a serious injury in a fall while walking with his family in the woods near his home.

His funeral will be held at Park Wood Crematorium at 10.30am on Saturday, January 28. This will be followed by a celebration of his life at Copley Cricket Club from 12 noon to 6pm. All who knew Graham are welcome.