‘He had a smile and a laugh for anyone” - Family pay tribute to Norwich dentist killed in ski accident
PUBLISHED: 22:58 27 February 2014 | UPDATED: 22:58 27 February 2014
The family of a Norwich dentist killed in a ski accident have paid tribute to the man who “had a smile and a laugh for anyone”.
David English, 65, died after falling down a ravine while skiing off-piste in a forested area in the Swiss resort of Vercorin.
The father-of-three was airlifted to hospital but, despite wearing a helmet, died from his injuries the following day, on February 11.
Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake yesterday opened an inquest into the death of Dr English, who was a highly respected dentist who had run his own practice in Norwich for 34 years.
Dr English’s wife Heather and son Oliver said he was a man with a passion for learning, but who always made time for his family.
“He had a smile and a laugh for anyone. Everybody who met him seemed to take to him,” said Oliver, 32.
“He was inquisitive, he was questioning, he had a thirst for knowledge. He was very intrigued in the world around him.”
A ski instructor at Norfolk Snowsports Club in Trowse for many years, Dr English’s other interests included cycling and music, from Bob Dylan to more Norfolk tastes.
“He always enjoyed going to see local bands, and liked to support them,” said Mrs English, who worked with her husband as practice manager.
“He also played bass guitar in bands himself, the Exit Blues Band and The Lubes.”
She said her husband was an experienced skier who had first taken up the sport in 1987.
Born and raised in Harrogate, Dr English moved to Great Yarmouth to take his first dentistry job in 1977, a year after getting married, and then three years later set up his own practice in St Augustine’s Street.
A strong advocate for the use of microscopes in general dental practice, Dr English became highly respected in his field, and frequently travelled to attend conferences around the world. He was a member of the Academy of Enhanced Microscope Dentistry, British ambassador to the European Society of Microscope Dentistry, and a founder member of the Norwich Dentists Study Group.
Outside of work, another of his passions was construction and he began building the family home in Swainsthorpe in 1987.
Friend and fellow ski instructor Robert Loades said he had known Dr English for more than 15 years.
He said: “David was a very full-of-life kind of guy. He loved music, he loved skiing and he was always very keen to improve himself.”
Following the accident, Dr English was taken to hospital in Sion, where he died. His body was repatriated to the UK eight days later.
Would you like to pay tribute to Dr English? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603 772423.