Tributes pour in after death of ‘amazing’ Dunstable fundraiser

Jan and Pete Hilliard
Jan and Pete Hilliard
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Tributes have poured in for fundraiser Pete Hilliard who passed away on Tuesday, August 2, at Keech Hospice Care, with his wife by his side.

The 56-year-old, of Dunstable, had been fighting bowel, liver and lung cancer for three years. He began fundraising in April last year, after his third cancer diagnosis in 18 months.

He wanted to raise money to get himself fit enough to climb Machu Picchu, in aid of Macmillan, to thank them for the support they had given him. He raised thousands for Pete’s Fighting Fund, Keech Hospice Care and the 4Cancer Group. Pete had two children, Jenni and Dominic and a step son Alex. He married his wife Jan in July 2015.

She said: “Pete was an amazing man, so positive and he always made time for everyone, he never complained about what he was going through. He was upbeat, right up until he had to go into Keech. He helped people on the support websites and made lots of friends.

“He adored me and I adored him, I have so many great memories of him, but my favourite has to be when we got married and said our vows to each other.”

Pete used to play football, tennis and squash and he helped Dunstable Tennis Club initiate a disability sport programme.

His friend Helen Mead set up Pete’s Fighting Fund. She said: “There are comments from people that knew him as a child and from some people that had never met him but had been supported by him online. He touched people’s lives in a different way, no matter what he was going through, he always had time for other people.”

Jan added: “I want to thank everyone for their kind messages, I am just astonished at how popular and well liked he was within the community.

“I also want to thank Keech who showed compassion and care when he passed away, they really were great.”

The funeral is on Wednesday, August 24, at The Vale, Luton.