Grieving Costessey widow's tribute to husband

Kate ScotterA grieving widow has urged men not to be afraid of visiting their doctor as she paid tribute to her 'charming' husband who died from a heart attack.Kate Scotter

A grieving widow has urged men not to be afraid of visiting their doctor as she paid tribute to her 'charming' husband who died from a heart attack.

David Rowe, of Cleves Way, off West End, Costessey, died on February 19 after collapsing in the street on his way to the shops.

The 57-year-old had suffered from heart disease for many years and his health had slowly deteriorated.

He had what his widow Felicia described as a 'deep, deep fear of doctors' and ignored the health warnings to get medical help.

Mrs Rowe, who had been married to Mr Rowe for 20 years this year after they met in her native Romania, urged other men not to let the same thing happen to them.

She said: 'When we first met, I was the tour guide on the bus and he was a charming and a happy-go-lucky man. He was very romantic and he was a very passionate guy.

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'He had a good sense of humour and we had lots of laughs. He was very genuine and we were finishing each other's sentences and choosing the same things on the menu from the moment we met. I could tell we were a good match.

'He had not been himself for the last few years, but I will miss him being here. I could see how he was just killing himself and he had no energy. If some kind of charity or something could be set up which helps men to seek medical advice, then that would be a good thing.'

The pair got engaged by the sea and once the Romanian Revolution of 1989 overthrew the communist regime, they got married in Bucharest. They have one son, James, who is now 12 years old and a pupil at Notre Dame High School, and Mr Rowe had three children from a previous marriage.

Mr Rowe, a former electrician, who had been a house husband for the last 13 years, had a family history of heart disease and had high blood pressure, but he continued to be dependent on alcohol and would avoid going to see his GP.

On the day he died, he collapsed on the path just outside his home, where neighbours and paramedics came to his aid. Flowers have been laid at the place where he fell.

Mrs Rowe, a qualified accountant, said: 'It normally takes less than 10 minutes for him to go to the shop, but he had been longer so I grabbed an umbrella because it was drizzling and went out to find him.

'I rushed out and there he was with three or four first aiders around him pumping his chest. The paramedics were there within two minutes. It felt like the houses were coming down around me, but I know everything was done to try to save him.'

Mr Rowe's funeral will be held at Colney Woodland Burial Park on March 8 and he will be buried at Longwater Lane Cemetery.

Do you want to pay tribute to a loved one? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email