The family of a well-known theatre manager have paid tribute to him as a ‘devoted husband, dad and friend’ following his sudden death at the age of 59.
Walter Swan, the Creative Development Manager of Ilkley Playhouse, died of a suspected heart attack at his home in Moor Lane, Burley in Wharfedale, on Easter Monday.
His wife, Niccola, 55, and sons Laurie, 26, and Finlay, 24, described him as ‘the most loving husband and father we could ever have wished for’.
Niccola said: “He was a devoted dad who loved his boys to bits. He was really well known in Ilkley – you couldn’t walk down the street without people stopping to say hello and he was always kind and welcoming. His death was so sudden and unexpected. He will be so missed by so many.”
Walter had also worked as a freelance writer for publications including Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Ridings Magazine. He taught English at Gateways School in Harewood for a time and he published two books with close friend and Yorkshire Post colleague Yvette Huddleston. A member of Otley Golf Club, Walter also played squash and he took part in fundraising cycling challenges.
Niccola paid tribute to the emergency service workers who attended when Walter fell ill at home. She said members of the police, the NHS and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance had been quick to arrive at the scene and had been kind and professional throughout. She said arrangements for the funeral were still being made.