Tributes have been paid to a ‘fun-loving and helpful’ Bury St Edmunds mechanic and family man who died suddenly aged 59.
Stephen Sharpe used his skills to rebuild tractors including a vehicle for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, which he show-cased at numerous events across the region.
This tractor and another - Jack and Mike - will be brought to his funeral at Southgate Church on Monday April 14.
Mr Sharpe died after the car he was driving left Hopton Road, in Barningham, on March 24 and collided with a garden wall causing minor damage to the car. Two workmen tried to resuscitate him and he was taken to West Suffolk Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.
His sister Linda Baldry, 56, said: “We don’t know what the cause was but he was leaning over his steering wheel when they got to him.” She described her brother, who trained as a mechanic after leaving Beyton Secondary School, as ‘fun loving, quite a live-wire who would do anything for anyone’.
His friend John Selley, of Beyton, told how Jack was the first tractor Mr Sharpe helped rebuild with him while Mike was the last one. He was also given a Transit pick-up by a friend, which became Mr Sharpe’s ‘pride and joy right to the end’. Mr Selley said: “I have lost a good friend. He was a good engineer and had a solution for nearly every situation. He and his truck did many, many miles collecting or delivering tractors - a task he really enjoyed.”
He leaves four children, eight grandchildren, two sisters and his mother. His family have invited Liam Suttle, who rushed to Mr Sharpe’s aid in Barningham, to the funeral.
There will be a collection for CLIC Sargent at his funeral, which starts at 12.30pm.