Tuesday, 24 October 2006 22:21
Ian's Life Story!
This page tell's the story of Ian's life in words; if you would like to include a story or some thoughts of the times you spent with Ian, please email Tony Irving at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Article Submission page.
Ian was born at his parents home in Welwyn Garden City on 30th November 1955. He was the second child of Ray and Jean, David being the eldest and Julie the baby of the family. Ian's work ethic was learnt early in life; his father held two jobs and as such worked very long hours. His main role was as the manager of Sherrards, one of the Spastic Society's learning centres for disabled and downs syndrome young people; the second job was working for a light engineering company which he did in the mornings to earn extra money.
Ian worked with his father from the age of about 9 years helping with everything from cleaning machinery to decorating at the Spastics Centre. With the money he earned he bought his first motor bike; he loved biking but came off many times much to the concern of his mum!!
His mum also worked hard bringing up three children and working part time at the local school. For relaxation the family used to spend weekends and holidays touring the UK in their beloved caravan. Their favourite destinations were Wales and Southern Ireland. Ian often used to recall stories of these times - early morning washes in the local river, hiking up mountains and generally getting back to nature. These were happy days for the family but sadly they were short lived; his mum became ill in 1975 and died of a brain tumour in December 1976 at the age of 42.
Ian was a bright student at Monkswalk School; his reports were glowing and I don't think he ever achieved anything less than a B grade. He was a popular boy making a lot of friends, many of whom have remained so up to today. After school, he went on to University in Bradford and studied Business; he graduated in 1978 and was presented his degree by the late Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
On leaving University with his very long hair, beard and ear-ring, he started the round of interviews to get a job. He was very successful, with people recognising his charm and his passion for life and success. He had many offers but decided to work for Air Products starting as a salesman; it didn't take him long before he was top salesman and promotion quickly followed.
It was during his time between leaving University and work that Ian and I met up again; although a few years older than me, Ian and I already knew one another from school. Occasionally we would socialise with the same group of friends and one evening he asked me to go out for a drink. I really wasn't sure at first - he had the reputation as a smooth operator. He had traded in the motor bike by this time for an MGB sports car, he thought he was very cool (and he was).
Anyway, friends urged me to say yes to the 'date' and off we went to a very uncool pub in St Albans. Despite his dodgy choice of venue the evening went really well and within 6 weeks he asked me to marry him! The rest as they say is history.
Ian and I were married on 24th May 1980 at St John's Church in the parish of Digswell. The day was quite eventful but I knew I had made a good choice, we were "a perfect match", "a good team" as Ian always used to say.
We bought our first house in Panshanger which was brand new; we were very proud. We both worked hard, me as a buyer with Marks and Spencer and Ian changed jobs to work with Ampliversal in Stanmore. He always said he learnt a lot in that role especially from his senior boss, a guy called Doug Birchett. During this time we moved home to somewhere with more space and I fell pregnant with Laura.
Just after her birth in 1985, Ian went for an interview with Siemens. Needless to say he got the job and despite some very difficult times working within the German culture he was lucky to find several mentors along the way who supported him and promoted him. Uwe Larman was the man who convinced Ian to stay with the Company when he was about to leave. He said to Ian that if you want to affect change you have to stay with it; without people to initiate the change it will never happen. Ian saw this as a challenge and this was a major driving force throughout his career.
After Uwe there was Alan Wilshire who also saw the passion and skills that Ian possessed; Ian also learnt a lot from Alan especially in terms of his inter personal skills.
During these years we travelled a lot on business on the many incentive trips; we made wonderful new friends and had many happy times.
William was born in December 1988 and a year later Ian was seconded to Hoffman Strasse to work at the Siemens head office; this was a big challenge for the whole family. We moved to Pullach in Jan 1990;although living in Germany presented it's difficulties we spent some very happy times there. We learnt to ski, toured with beautiful German countryside and mountains, learnt to like Weiners and beer, and learnt about the culture of German life.
During our time in Munich we also experienced some personal tragedy. Whilst on a skiing holiday in Switzerland William suffered a terrible accident whilst on a sledge; he was in a coma for 10 days and suffered terrible injuries. The road to rehab was very long but never did Ian let this get the better of us; he always looked forward positively, told us all that everything would be OK, and never to feel sorry for ourselves. He of course was right. After many years Will did recover and has grown into the wonderful son he is today; we are so very proud of him.
On our return to the UK we moved back to Welwyn; back in familiar surroundings and close to our dear friends and family, I started to re build my career again. Ian was working out of Luton and I started working for a Philippine Company who make children's clothing for many of the major UK high street retailers; life started to be good again.
We travelled a lot to the US, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, the Philippines, over most of the Mediterranean, Canada and so on. We also moved house again within the village to The Old House; Ian loved this house and who can blame him - it is so very quaint and pretty. He loved to do DIY, but as the pressures of work increased, time became a limiting factor but still he insisted that he did as much work as possible, decorating, building a garage, helping build the conservatory and doing the garden. He was never still.
He did however find time for some golf during his ever increasingly busy life. He loved to play at Brocket and to as not to spend too much time away from the children and I, he would get up at the crack of dawn for an early tee off time to be back for lunch; we were so very happy and so lucky to have one another.
In the Spring of 2003 Ian was promoted to head up Siemen's mobile sales business; he was so excited about this new role. The decision for him to take it though was difficult, as it meant leaving the children and I in the UK and working out of Munich. We discussed the options over several weeks, but I knew that this was something, no matter how compromising for us, that Ian had to do. He worked so very very hard and was quickly promoted to President of the mobile business world wide. My, how far he had come. He carried out his duties magnificently; he turned around the performance of the business around, and inspired all those who heard him speak with a belief and a confidence that they could make a difference. He was an ambassador for the mobile business and inspired people to succeed; I want to quote at this point from a message that was sent by one of his team, as for me this sums up Ian as the man he was:
" I was very very sorry to hear of your sad loss and I wanted to express my deepest sympathies. Although I am only not a very important employee here at Siemens mobile with no direct contact to your husband and father, he did mean much to me. He took over a very difficult task and managed to achieve something really great: he gave us all a new perspective, he inspired us and gave us the confidence in ourselves back. Furthermore, he initiated a cultural change within MP that was much needed, but obviously nobody else had the courage to do"
" I know that this cannot be a comfort for you, but your husband and father made a great difference to me and many, many of my colleagues and we will remember him. I do very sincerely hope that the Board will continue his efforts that made so much difference in only 3 months time". Dr Alexandra Musto.
Life for us will never be the same without Ian. We have lost someone so very precious to our existence it is hard to put into words; but we will try and continue in the way Ian would want us to. Always trying to look towards the light, not allowing any negative thoughts and living life to the full.
My darling Ian we will you love for always. God Bless my love.
Millions of millions
Sharon, Laura and Will
This page was last updated Friday, 09 June 2006 11:25 by Tony Irving