Community champion Jan Pacula has passed away suddenly at the age of 68.
Jan died on November 7 after suffering a heart attack. He had not shown any symptoms of heart failure and had lived life to the maximum right up to the end.
He was a fantastic community member who brought so much joy and happiness to others in a very infectious way.
Jan was educated at St Peter’s, Lancaster, and then went on to complete an apprentice programme at Luneside Engineering Company Ltd, Halton.
This was where he met his wife Janthia, who was secretary to the managing director, Mr Benirski.
Jan wooed her with his football skills in his lunch break!
Jan then moved on to be in the engineering department at the Lancaster Moor Hospital. He spent more than 30 happy years there.
Jan would do anything for his three daughters and this showed through his commitment to helping the schools they attended.
He was the PTA chairman of both Scotforth CE School and Ripley St Thomas, and went on to be a governor at both schools as well.
The motivation to organise events brought so much excitement to the children, parents and staff.
He stood for council several times, for the Conservatives, Independent and DART.
His campaigns were passionate and he made the events so memorable for all involved.
Lancaster International Twinning Society was extremely lucky to be led by Jan for many years.
His drive was immense to bring the twinned towns together. All the readers who went on twinning trips will have many stories to share with laughter being at the forefront of all the tales.
Jan organised football matches every night at 6pm for his daughters, friends and local children in Barton Road – the Barton Road Wanderers.
He then took a men’s football teams to Hamme-Zogge, Belgium, for more than 10 years.
The relationship he built up with the tournament teams brought such joy and all the men who went to the matches have memories that they will never forget.
The JP International Select Club were a feisty and at times athletic team!
Jan would also organise holidays and trips for friends and family, known as the Sunshine Tours.
At home Jan was a positive, happy person who never complained and would constantly laugh and smile at everything.
He renovated more than 20 houses, in his spare time several of those being at his daughters’ demands!
Even properties in France were developed as everything was a ‘mere detail’ – never a problem, just ‘a challenge!’
He shared many loving times with his six grandsons, who he loved to play with so much.
Finally he got a granddaughter, just three months ago. The smile on his face made us all complete!
The end of the week would always be spent at the Reform Club, Lancaster playing snooker with his friends.
He had been president of the club and part of the snooker league team for many years.
This is where Jan dies and where he was so happy with his friends who tried hard to save him.
Jan was an utter inspiration to so many people and showed us exactly how we should all live our lives – being positive and laughing at what life throws at you.
He will be missed desperately by his wife, children, brother and sister and all family and friends, but will never be forgotten.
Jan’s funeral takes place at Scotforth St Paul’s Church on Friday November 21 at 10am, then afterwards at the Reform Club, Lancaster.
It will be a celebration of his life, exactly how he would have wanted it to be.