Obituary - Mr Paul Sharp

A familiar figure in amateur dramatics, Paul performed in many plays and pantomimes, often as a highly entertaining and outrageously dressed dame.

PAUL Sharp, a well-known and popular figure in Mirfield through his work at Dow Chemicals and activities at Trinity Church, has died aged 48.

He and his family had been part of the community for more than 10 years, since moving from Huddersfield where he had met his wife Anne.

He was a keen member of the Mirfield Liberal Club and an enthusiastic organiser of, and participant in, the annual train trip benefiting local and national charities through Mirfield Aid. His interests ranged from creating sculptures and stained glass windows to pleasure boating – not always without mishap – on the Calder and Hebble Navigation.

Paul was a talented research chemist, having studied Chemistry at Huddersfield Polytechnic, and served 25 years as a valued employee at the Mitchell Cotts plant in Mirfield. During his employment he saw many changes and latterly was research and development manager for Dow Chemicals at the plant.

A year out in Germany as a student sparked a life-long interest in travel for both business and pleasure. He was involved in several business projects abroad, where he always embraced the local food and culture. On family holidays he sought out adventure, including white-water rafting, climbing and paragliding.

Paul Anthony Sharp was born in Hillam in North Yorkshire in 1959, the eldest of four children, and spent his childhood in the neighbouring village of Monk Fryston.

He attended Monk Fryston primary school, continuing his education at Sherburn High School.

Paul met his wife Anne (nee Barron) while studying at Huddersfield Polytechnic in the early 1980s and they married in 1985.

He was the proud and much-loved father of Sarah, born in 1987, and Joe, 1990. A dedicated family man, he loved sharing the activities and interests of his children, which led him into amateur dramatics, first at St Paul's Methodist Church in Dalton, Huddersfield and then with the Q Trinity group in Mirfield.

In February 2007 he was diagnosed with a serious illness, but was determined not to let that interfere with his many interests, and in the last year of his life he and Anne took great pleasure in travelling in Britain and Europe. Throughout his treatment he retained an inspirational zest for life.

Paul's wife Anne said: "Paul was a great husband and father who always put the needs of his family first. He had a great sense of fun and kept us smiling until the end. He will be greatly missed in the community."

He died peacefully, surrounded by his family, at Kirkwood Hospice on Sunday last week.