Tragedy as husband of South Ockendon health campaigner found dead

SIMON Lodge, the husband of a South Ockendon health campaigner has died.

The emergency services were called to their home at Stifford Road, South Ockendon at lunchtime on Saturday afternoon (Feb 27th)

Police, paramedics and Essex air ambulance attended but YT understands that Mr Lodge was pronounced dead at the scene.

An Essex Police spokesperson said: "Police were contacted shortly before 3pm on Saturday, February 27 with reports of a man aged in his 50s unwell in a property in Stifford Road, South Ockendon.

"Officers and paramedics attended but sadly the man was pronounced deceased.

His death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner".

Simon Lodge was aged 51 and was the husband of Deirdre (Dee) Lodge. Deirdre has campaigned for many years to improve housing conditions in Thurrock and the rest of the country.

Deirdre has an incurable lung disease but throughout all her time, Simon was always beside her, supporting, advising and counselling.

Simon, a former builder, gave up his work to look after Dee full time. He was also a loving step-father and grandfather.

YT spoke to Deirdre and she may be issuing a full tribute in due course.

Family friend, Peter Perrin said: "This is a tragic loss and will be very hard to bear. I only spoke to him a few days ago.

"Simon was Dee’s rock and comfort. He was a good friend and a man of great kindness. He was a gentle giant with such a big heart, I will dearly miss him."

Your Thurrock’s editor, Michael Casey said: "This is a tragic loss. Simon was one of the very few people who would answer my phone calls with a cheeky: "What do you want? You’re after a story aren’t you?

"He was so kind, so caring as well as a very bright man who was a joy to know. You were just a nice fella."

"All our thoughts go to Dee and her family."

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