TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved former teacher, author and artist from Rubery who has passed away on Monday at the age of 85.
Michael Richardson taught art at Blessed Humphrey Middlemore in Harborne, Handsworth Wood Boys School and Lordswood Girls School.
Michael, who put his talents towards writing novels and painting, battled leukaemia for over a year.
Despite everything he faced, including losing a leg to necrotising fasciitis and a previous battle with cancer, which he overcame, his family said he always enjoyed life and lived it to the full right up until the end.
Michael, who was scared of heights, completed two charity abseils in 2015 and last year. The two descents down the Fort Dunlop building and The Hampton by Hilton Hotel on Broad Street saw him raise thousands of pounds for Birmingham Children’s and cancer research at the Queen Elizabeth Hospitals.
His wife Annie said: “We have had so many messages from people who knew him, whether that was through his teaching, his books or his art.
“Everyone of them has said what an inspiration he was.
“He had a lovely career and just loved life.
“When he lost his leg he would say to his grandchildren: ‘I never liked that leg anyway’.”
His daughter Emma added: “He lived life in colour every day with his wonderful paintings, eccentricities, zest for life and unconditional love for his family and friends.
“He was the best father, grandad, husband, teacher, brother, friend, artist, listener and advisor.
“He leaves a huge un-fillable hole in our lives.
“Dad didn’t ‘lose his battle to cancer’ he battled it every inch of the way.
“He sat through grueling hours of chemo, clinical trials and countless blood/platelet transfusions.
“All this with a sense of humour and the ability to remember the first name and family details of every nurse that treated him.
“Michael didn’t just fight a battle – he was the warrior and we are hugely proud of what he had achieved.”
The funeral will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Leach Green Lane, Rednal, at 11.00am on July 16. It will be followed by a short service at Lodge Hill Crematorium at 12.30pm and a wake at Hillscourt, Rose Hill.
Michael’s ashes will be scattered on the Waseley Hills – a place which was always close to his heart.
The family has requested that anyone who wants to donate in his memory do so to Rubery In Bloom.
Annie said: “We hope a lot of people come to the funeral – he always said he wanted a party.”
Michael is survived by his wife Annie, son Tim, daughter Emma and three grandchildren.
Anyone intending to go to the funeral and wake should call Annie on 0121 453 3758 as Hillscourt need to know numbers of people attending.