Family tribute a year-on from carpenter's cancer death

Fred Lucas (right) died aged 81 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer last year

Vintage motorbike enthusiast: Fred Lucas (right) died aged 81 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer last year - Credit: SUPPLIED

The family of a carpenter who died after being exposed to asbestos has paid tribute to him a year after his death. 

Fred Lucas, of King’s Lynn, was diagnosed with mesothelioma last year. A form of cancer of the lining of the lung, it is commonly linked with exposure to asbestos materials. 

The 81-year-old died just two months after receiving the devastating news. 

His wife, Wendy Lucas, 77, said: “Fred was a wonderful husband who was never happier than when spending time with his family or enjoying his hobbies of beekeeping and vintage motorbikes. 

“Losing Fred was incredibly difficult and the entire family still misses him so much.” 

A-dad-of-two and grandfather, Mr Lucas left school in the mid-1950s. 

Soon after, he took up a carpentry apprenticeship with Walter Lawrence & Son cutting sheeting for use in housing projects. He returned to the company after completing his National Service in the early 1960s. 

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He then went on to be a carpenter for Laughton & Fuller, John Laing, WM Sindall, and RG Carter and worked on domestic housing estates on the construction of new builds between 1963 and 1966.  

He subsequently moved to the Bernard Matthews site at Great Witchingham, where he worked in maintenance carpentry on farm buildings. 

Mr Lucas became unwell in early 2021 and tests and scans revealed that he had fluid on the lung. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2021 and his condition deteriorated rapidly. He died on April 18, 2021.    

In a quest for answers in his memory, Mrs Lucas added: “It’s about a year now since Fred died but time has stood still for our family.  

“We still have so many unanswered questions as to how Fred contracted mesothelioma. Before his diagnosis, we hadn’t heard of it but we now know how terrible a disease it is."

The family’s tribute to Mr Lucas marks Workers' Memorial Day which takes place on April 28 every year. 

  • To pay tribute to a loved one, email norfolktributes@archant.co.uk
  • To read more obituaries and tributes join the Facebook group Norfolk's Loved & Lost.
  • Mr Lucas’s death is now the subject of a legal case, with lawyers trying to locate previous colleagues. Anyone with information is asked to contact Natalia Rushworth-White at Irwin Mitchell on 01223 791810 or email natalia.rushworthwhite@irwinmitchell.com