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Tributes paid to much-loved family man and social care worker Pete Collins
HE will be remembered for touching the lives of many in Southampton.
The family and friends of Pete Collins have led tributes to the father-of-two who died suddenly after a heart attack, aged 47.
The founder and ghost walker for Haunted Southampton and a social care worker, Pete, of Millbrook, lived in Southampton all his life and was described as an avid Southampton football fan who devoted his life to caring for others.
He leaves behind a widow Juliet, 49, and children Sam, 19, and Lauren, 17. They described him as having a caring nature, even from an early age when, being the youngest of seven, he began caring for his father after he suffered a stroke.
It was that which inspired Pete to work for Hampshire social services and Coxlease School for children with social difficulties in Lyndhurst.
But after watching a haunted house programme with his wife, the former Redbridge High School student became entranced by the world of the paranormal and in 2009 they set up the family business Haunted Southampton.
In five years Pete and Juliet hosted more than 60 ghost walks in Southampton venues hoping to find proof of paranormal activity.
Juliet said: “The last investigation we went on Pete was so excited because one of the images showed a footprint. He was the ideas guy and everybody loved his enthusiasm, it was infectious. We were so lucky to have him.
"I can’t believe the amount of people that have got in touch. I’m learning about him all over again through other people’s eyes.
“He was with one of the young men he cares for and that boy’s mother wrote me a card saying ‘Pete made a tremendous difference to our lives. He was as far as we were concerned the best of men'.
“Pete loved to laugh, you could hear him all through the house and he loved his kids and teasing them but he was so proud of them. We all told each other we loved each other every day.
“My daughter told me that because I’m 50 this year he was planning a trip for us to go to the Edinburgh Vaults and I would have loved that, we had so much planned.
“Within the first three weeks of us meeting we knew it was something special and at five weeks he proposed.
"We have been married for 22 years – not everybody gets to live that much.
“I used to say to him I’m a bit different now and have wrinkles but he would always tell me I was still the girl he married.
"He gave the best hugs, I used to say they were like coming home. He is the voice in my head and he was wonderful.”
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