Many people were greatly saddened that Mick Day, a former ranger of Allestree Park, who retired only three years before, passed away at the age of 57 in April 2014. He suffered a pulmonery embolism while on holiday (actually looking after a friend's dogs and cats) in Sweden.
His sudden death was a great shock in that he seemed fit and healthy and was extremely active, going on long walks and tending his allotment, as well as taking frequent trips to London and elsewhere to visit art exhibitions, etc. In other words, he was really enjoying his retirement and getting as much out of life as possible.
Mick, with his great knowledge and enthusiasm, was a great asset to our park. He was also an extremely nice and engaging person and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was also a talented artist and photographer and interested in almost everything. He particularly loved the Derbyshire countryside and must have taken thousands of photographs of it.
There was a commemoration - 'A Remembering Day' - for Mick at Ticknall village hall on 28th June 2014, when many people attended.
A few Tributes to Mick
From Steve Plant:
Mick was one of life's hidden gems as those who were lucky enough to have known him will confirm: A scholar, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about many subjects, kind, supportive, compassionate, a born diplomat amongst many other fine qualities.
He was a very skilled and artistic photographer. When out on walks with Bill and myself, Mick would see something in a scene that Bill and I hadn't or couldn't see. When back home Mick would skilfully enhance these seemingly unimpressive scenes and email them to us, at which point they looked wonderful!
His enthusiasm for life was very infectious. On some walks the weather did its best to deter us, (usually when Bill was away on holiday!), but we usually ended up laughing in the rain, snow or fog. As Mick used to say 'We are alive and that's what matters'. It was almost like he knew time was short. All too short, as it turned out.
We had so many plans, so many walks to do again, so many new ones to do. Mick wanted to know north Staffordshire better, Greater Derbyshire, as he called it, an area I grew up in and was looking forward to showing him more of. Clearly it wasn't meant to be.
Mick's beaming smile and warm personality were a shining light in an increasingly dark world.
He was taken from us far, far to soon. The world will be the poorer for his passing. It was an honour and a pleasure to have known him, to have been able to count him as one of my best friends is beyond words. I hope he knew just how much we all valued him and always will.
From Pat Sear:
It will always be his place in Allestree Park that is, for me, the first and strongest memory, but he was so much more than that.