Loving tribute paid to 90-year-old great, great grandparent from Leeds with “a heart of gold”

A loving tribute has been paid by the family of a great, great grandfather who has suddenly died at the age of 90.
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Harold ‘Arthur’ Lotherington’s family have reflected on the life of the “true gentleman with a heart of gold” following his death on September 4.

His granddaughter Melissa Boylan spoke of Arthur’s love for his huge family – many of whom lived on the same cul-de-sac – his passion for war memorabilia and the Armed Forces and his interest for the history of Leeds, saying: “Travelling around with him was like being with a living SatNav. There wasn’t a street or place that he didn’t know something interesting about to go with it.”

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Arthur died from a heart attack, with Miss Boylan adding: “Although he was old he had his wits about him and was quite healthy. It was very unexpected.”

Harold Arthur Lotherington had his 90th birthday earlier this year.Harold Arthur Lotherington had his 90th birthday earlier this year.
Harold Arthur Lotherington had his 90th birthday earlier this year.

Mr Lotherington, known as Arthur, was born in Hull but moved to Leeds when he was 10-years-old and stayed in the same house on Foundry Mill Walk in Seacroft until his death.

Miss Boylan said that various other members of his family – which was made up of five children, 10 grandchildren, 17 grandchildren and three great, great grandchildren – purchased houses on the cul-de-sac and would spend lots of time with one another.

She said: “The routine every morning for us was waving to him through his window while I walked the children to school.

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"We would always get him out for Christmas Day and spend the morning with him. The only time he ever ate alone was during lockdown.”

Arthur and Pauline LotheringtonArthur and Pauline Lotherington
Arthur and Pauline Lotherington

Arthur attended Seacroft Grange Primary School and joined the army at the age of 19, during which time he served in the Korean War.

He would go on to dedicate a huge amount of his time to honouring those who’d served in the Armed Forces; including setting up a museum of war memorabilia in his own home, providing medals artefacts to veterans’ families and supporting the Royal British Legion.

Miss Boylan said: “He would always say ‘these people should not be forgotten for their service and what they did’. We as a family are determined to make sure that legacy lives on.

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"We’ve been telling some of the veterans about the sad news and they’ve all said how grateful they are for the work he has done.”

A gathering of family and friends was held to mark Arthur Lotherington's 90th birthdayA gathering of family and friends was held to mark Arthur Lotherington's 90th birthday
A gathering of family and friends was held to mark Arthur Lotherington's 90th birthday

Arthur also purchased the Yorkshire Evening Post on a daily basis and cut out clippings of stories relating to his family and one of those that kept pride of place on his wall was an article in 2009 about his collection of war memorabilia.

Miss Boylan said: “We would sit with him on the evening as he went through the paper. It’s those memories we know we will keep.”

Arthur, who worked his life as a truck driver, began the collection following the death of his wife Pauline, who he married when he was 25. The couple met through work and had a long and happy life together.

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Miss Boylan said: “They often took us charity shopping and to the local parks.

"The Sunday dinners were the main this they would do together. Family, friends and friends of friends were always welcome round. They never closed the door to anybody.

"Their hobbies were getting my mum and her sisters to do shows in the house. Happy memories.”

Arthur also had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the city of Leeds and delighted in sharing it with his family and friends.

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Miss Moylan said: “He knew all the pubs around Leeds and their history and bits of information about the buildings. I didn’t matter where we went, he’d know something.

"One letter he wrote into the YEP about the lakes in Roundhay Park being built by the soldiers when they came back from the war is on the billboard at the park.

"It’s sad because I feel like people like that – people who talk about the past or have knowledge of the area – just aren’t around anymore. People don’t know what’s on their doorstep anymore.

"It’s a shame his body couldn’t keep up because his knowledge was phenomenal.”

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Miss Boylan added that he took great pride in his garden and the local area over the years and won numerous gardening awards from competitions organised by the council.

“Respecting your area and loving your family were two big things for him.

"He would always tell you off if you didn’t cut your hedges, bless him.”

Arthur remained living at the same home in Seacroft until his death, with Miss Boylan saying: “He was strong willed and didn’t want any help. Even until his death and he would insist that he was as fit as a fiddle.

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“It’s going to be really hard to sit back and watch the house go to someone else.”

His funeral will be held next Friday (October 6) with members of the British Legion being for the moving of his coffin from his home to Lawnswood Cemetery. The funeral will take place at 10.45am and the family has said that anyone who wishes to pay their respects is welcome to attend.

Miss Boylan said: “He had such a great life. He was happy and grateful. He didn’t take it for granted ever because he knew a lot of people don’t have what he had.

"I will remember the little things most, like him telling us to ‘pull your plugs out and turn your lights off before you go to bed’.

"He was so caring and nurturing. Nothing ever went unnoticed. He never forgot anything.”