The former head of a national public schools association and his wife have been killed in a car crash in America.
Paddy and Julyan Heazell were on a holiday in New Hampshire when their rental van left the road and hit a tree on Sunday afternoon.
The tragic couple – married for 51 years – had been hiking in stunning Mount Washington Valley of New England before the accident.
Mr Heazell’s brother Gareth, 62, who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash, and his wife Pamela, 62, were yesterday (Weds) still being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Retired Mr Heazell, 77, from Snape, near Aldeburgh, Suffolk, was the retired headmaster of London preparatory school The Hall, where he worked from 1976 -1991.
He also served as chairman of the exclusive Independent Association of Prep Schools.
Mrs Heazell, 74, had volunteered at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve for 25 years and the couple were also active members of their parish church.
Mr and Mrs Heazell’s three grown-up children were yesterday (Weds) too distraught to speak.
But the family released a message through the Rev Canon Nigel Hartley, vicar of their local parish, Aldeburgh Church, where the couple were married in 1962.
He said: “Paddy and Julyan have been very faithful members of our congregation.
“Paddy carried the cross for us almost every Sunday in recent years.
“I have learnt a great deal from him in terms of singing. He was a very talented bass singer.
“They were involved in so many different aspects of the town and will be greatly missed.”
He added: “They were prominent members of so many areas of church life and much loved by all who knew them.
“They will be very sadly missed by so many people in the congregation because they touched so many lives.
“Their contributions to the town and church are something that will be remembered for many years.”
Mr and Mrs Heazell, who also had one grandchild, frequently attended services at the church and sang in the choir.
They were also members of Aldeburgh Music Club.
Mr Heazell was treasurer and concert manager of the club for many years until recently.
A close family friend, who didn’t want to be named, said: “Paddy and Julyan were two of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met and the gap this leaves in the lives of so many will be enormous.”
Harry Young, general manager at Aldeburgh Music, said: “Paddy would always make a speech at the annual eve-of-festival dinner, where he would entertain and rally the volunteers.
“We will miss them both hugely – kind, giving, cultured people who played a significant role here and who provided a precious link to the earliest days of the Aldeburgh Festival.”