“WARM, kind, gentle, funny – just an amazing man.”
That is how the widow of family man Andy Cole has described her beloved husband who was killed while riding his motorbike in Stratton earlier this month.
Honda worker Andy, 44, was on his way home from a shift at work when his silver GSXR motorbike collided with a red Toyota Hiace van.
Wife Karen has paid tribute to her husband who was father to Liam, Nicole and Kelly and “bampy” to Harley and Charlie.
She said: “Andy was an amazing man who will never be forgotten, from his infectious laugh to his radiant smile.
“Andy was a joy to be around, living his life to the full and enjoying every moment along the way.”
Andy grew up in Moredon with his parents Joy and Terry, and older brother Paul. His love for motorbikes began at a young age and was a passion he shared with good friends Martin Scull and Chris Murray.
In 1992, he began working for Honda before he met Karen, whose two daughters Nicole and Kelly were just three and five years old at the time.
Karen, of Farrfield, in Stratton, said her two daughters helped prepare Andy for fatherhood and when son Liam was born in 1996, he was the perfect father figure and an excellent role model.
“Liam has grown to be happy and loved, following in his dad’s footsteps,” she said.
“Andy then became a brilliant bampy to Harley and Charlie, who both share a passion for his motorbikes and days out to George White’s.”
Holidays as a family, both around the world and closer to home, are also memories treasured by Karen.
She said: “From Butlins, to the Dominican Republic, no matter where we were, we always met so many new friends.
“I wasn’t just his wife, but his soulmate and best friend.
“Andy worked so hard to enjoy the finer things in life, like his jet skis which he enjoyed with his friends at weekends.
“On Saturday nights we would go and join all of our friends at The Wheatsheaf and enjoy a vodka followed by a few laughs.
“He was a fantastic husband, father, bampy, son, brother, brother-in-law and uncle who will be sadly missed by so many forever. I will never forget my darling husband.”
The funeral will be held at St Margaret’s Church in Lower Stratton at 10.30am on July 27, followed by a private family burial at Kingsdown Crematorium.
Everybody is also welcome to a gathering at the Wheatsheaf after the burial.
The family have requested that everybody wear bright colours and family flowers only. But donations can be made to the GWH Foundation Trust Emergency Department, c/o Co-operative Funeralcare, 439 Cricklade Road, Swindon, SN2 1AQ.