An Earby family has paid tribute to a loving husband, father and grandfather who has died after a long battle with cancer.
Malcolm Harling (71), of George Street, died in Pendleside Hospice.
Born in Blackburn, Mr Harling went to Intack School and then Blackburn Technical Grammar School before starting work at 16-years-old at English Electric in Clayton-le-Moors.
While living in Blackburn, he attended St Jude’s Church, and it was there at a regular Sunday service where he met wife Joan when they shared a hymn book one morning and it was love at first sight.
They married in 1965 just before Mr Harling got a job in the design room at Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick.
The couple soon moved into their house in George Street in Earby and the family grew with the addition of three boys Andrew, Paul and Neil and then a girl 15 years later with Stephanie.
Stephanie says: “He worked his socks off to provide for his family and he always really encouraged us to be who we are.”
Mr Harling worked at Rolls-Royce until 2000 when he took early retirement, but continued in employment part time when he secured work at Earby Post Office.
This was a position made for him, giving Mr Harling the opportunity to chat to customers to his heart’s content and people would queue up to be served by him.
Outside of work, Mr Harling was heavily involved with the Boys’ Brigade and was a football referee in the Blackburn and Craven leagues.
Later on, his community-minded nature led to him being a volunteer driver for the Earby Community Minibus and treasurer at All Saints’ Church in Earby.
He also developed an interest in bird life and photography after retirement.
With the family, Mr Harling would always be off out for day trips and enjoyed caravanning holidays all over the UK.
As Mr Harling suffered several health issues in later life, he would tell everybody he was an athlete, hurdling each problem as they cropped up, continuing to live with the same zest for life he had always done.
Reflecting, wife Joan said: “We have had some great laughs and good times. I think we will all miss his happy, jolly face, his enthusiasm for life and his outlook which was to always have a positive mental attitude.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our neighbours and friends for their support. They have been a big strength for us.
“We would also like to thank Airedale Hospital and Pendleside Hospice for all their help and care.”
Mr Harling leaves behind wife Joan, sons Andrew, Paul and Neil, daughter Stephanie, and grandchildren James, Chloe, Ethan and Jacob.
His funeral was held on Thursday at All Saints’ Church before a cremation at Skipton Crematorium.