Farewell to a Remarkable Makers Man
It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of a Makers character Tony Geary. Sadly Tony lost his fight with cancer on Wednesday 12th October surrounded by his family and shortly before his 71st birthday.
Tony was an avid runner and completed many marathons and fun runs and was always fit and joined Makers back in 1986 where he started as a concrete repairer.
His skills were legendary amongst many of his peers and right up until he was 70 continued to work on sites before ill health took over.
Tony was one of the industries most colourful characters and had what can only be described as roguish demeanour. Some might say he was old before his time but in the 35 years he was with Makers with a couple of years off for good behaviour he always looked the same, modelling himself very much in the manner of Noel Edmunds sporting a neatly trimmed goatee before it became fashionable.
His working colleagues will tell you he worked and played hard, indeed Tony would always ask if overtime was available and was always willing to go the extra mile. Like most guys in the industry, they like the odd pint and Tony was no exception although sometimes his excesses got him into a “little hot water”.
Always the loveable rouge Tony had a manner about him that would see him quickly befriend people finding out about their family and working life.
Tony was interviewed back on his 65th birthday about aspects of the industry and the changes he had seen. He rated himself one of the best repairers in the industry along with Wayne Alexander who he remarked was nearly as good as him.
Over his 34 years within the industry Tony made many friends and had many adventures, some stories too rich to recount but for those who worked with him will smile as they recall the antics and situations, they all became embroiled in; a pub, an involuntary striptease and ending of the Christmas Party!
As a young quantity surveyor when I first met Tony, I was greeted with “who are you?” but after many years there was a deep respect with Tony sending me a Christmas card every year thanking us for his job and wishing us well for the next year. Whenever we met, he had “pearls of wisdom for me” but he was always passionate about what he did.
Tony’s health took a turn for the worst just before his 70th birthday when he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer but shortly after its seams that despite treatment this quickly spread to both his bones and stomach. Tony continued to work during his initial treatment but inevitably the pain was too great and spells in Sandwell Hospital meant Tony became bed ridden.
Tony was allowed to travel to his sisters home where she cared for him before he passed. Tony was such an active guy that he wanted to be remembered that way and refused visits from those who had worked with him for a number of years.
Tony had already lost his wife Paula Marie to bowl cancer some 5 years previously so his own battle brought back those painful memories.
In his final years with Makers Tony was a totally reformed character from his younger days where a loose word or comment may have resulted in some slight physical activity to a more philosophical approach.
Throughout all his years with Makers he always had a cheeky smile that could always disarm, he always had the company’s interests at heart and always had time for a conversation. Tony was 1 in a million and at 70, still had a full head of hair, 32-inch waist and was running 30 miles a weekend before his diagnosis. He leaves behind two brothers and sisters Rosemary and Bernadette and his 2 sons Anthony and Paul.
Tony will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by the team at Makers, many who are still with us who remember those crazy early days.
Tony, we thank you for your skills, your workmanship, your companionship, for all the projects you contributed to, the stories you created, and the ones you recanted, we will miss you and we are unlikely to encounter anyone like you again.
Your endeavour is done, your toil is over, a remarkable working career and life, we thank you with heavy hearts, Rest in Peace our friend.
Tony’s Funeral will be held on Friday 11th November
at 1:15 pm, Holy Name Church, 9 Cross Lane, Great Barr, Birmingham, B43 6LN
and then laid to rest at 14:30 at Sutton New Hall Cemetery
320 Lindrige Road, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7HX
After both services attendees are invited to Boldmere Sports and Social Club 323 Boldmere Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5HQ.
We would like to thank Dave Wellerman for his contribution and communications during this difficult time.