Former Challney Boys High teacher George Whyte will be remembered as a kind and loving man, according to his sons Greg and Stephen.
He died on January 24, two years after losing his beloved wife Peggy.
Celebrity Sports Relief coach and former Olympian Greg, 48, said: “Without Dad behind me, I would never have been the sportsman I am today.
“He wasn’t pushy, just incredibly supportive. He used to get up at 5am to take me swimming. He enjoyed sport himself and wanted my brother and me to share that love.
“He was an excellent amateur lightweight boxer and became medical registrar for the Amateur Boxing Association in the eastern counties.
“Dad was a wonderful, generous man who loved his family. He provided a balance to life, an equilibrium and steadiness. But when my Mum died, part of him died too.”
Stephen, 51, a teacher in Berkhamsted, said: “Dad was always there. His unwavering support as the leader of the family was instrumental in who I am today and what I have achieved.
“I will miss his smile, his kindness and his love.”
George Thomas Whyte was born in Aberdeen in 1932 and came to Luton when he was two.
He went to school in Limbury and worked for Vauxhall for 43 years, starting as a fabric cutter and working his way up to quality control manager. He met Peggy at a tea dance at the Red Lion and the couple married in 1961.
The grandfather-of-four took early redundancy and retrained as a teacher before joining Challney High, a job he loved.
Headteacher Daniel Connor said: “George Whyte is fondly remembered by the staff who worked with him. The school sends its sincere condolences to his family.”