THE widow of a retired teacher from Leeds who fell 60ft to his death while walking on a “treacherous” mountain in Snowdonia has said he died doing what he loved.
Mountain rescue teams found experienced walker 64-year-old Stephen Longfellow’s body close to the top on the Tryfan mountain on Friday afternoon.
North Wales Police had launched a missing person appeal on Thursday after it was noticed he had failed to return from a walking holiday.
Grandfather-of-two Mr Longfellow, of Temple Newsam, was a magistrate in Leeds and former teacher at the old City of Leeds School in Woodhouse Moor.
His widow Margaret, 62, said: “He has left a great big hole in our lives and we are devastated to lose him.”
Mrs Longfellow said her husband of 42 years, who was a leading member of the Leodiensis Masonic Lodge at Otley, had travelled to Wales on Friday August 28 to walk with friends in a walking group but decided to stay on after the weekend to tackle the Tryfan mountain alone.
Mrs Longfellow notified police he was missing last Thursday after she returned from a walking holiday in Iceland to find he had not returned from his trip to Wales.
Mrs Longfellow said: “We believe he did the walk on Monday and that’s when he died. He has fallen 60ft and landed in a gulley and instantly died. It is a treacherous mountan is the Tryfan and there have been a few people lost on it, but he was wanting to push himself. Whatever he did in life, he pushed himself to the limit. He would often say I would rather die walking than be old and infirm sitting in a chair.”
Mrs Longfellow added: “We were best friends and two halves of a great team.”