North West Evening Mail photographer Dennis Sharp has died suddenly, after collapsing at home.
The 60-year-old had worked for the newspaper in Barrow-in-Furness for 45 years and was a favourite among his newspaper colleagues and the public in Cumbria.
Steve Brauner, editor of the Evening Mail, said: “We have lost a much loved colleague and a great photographer. Everyone at the Evening Mail is very upset.
“Dennis was always a joy to work with and his dedication to the job, coupled with a deep concern for others, was an example to us all.
“He will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege to know him.”
Dennis (pictured) began his career at the Mail as a hot metal compositor and later worked as a maintenance manager.
He was made redundant in 1995 but in 1996 returned to the newspaper, achieving his dream of becoming a professional photographer.
Dennis’ fellow Evening Mail photographer, Jon Granger, said: “Dennis Sharp was an inspiration to us all in the Evening Mail photographic department, tapping into his wealth of knowledge and experiences when sharing picture ideas.
“He was always the one who would compliment you on your work before discussing his own, in an attempt to encourage his fellow colleagues.
“We all knew Dennis as an ambassador for our newspaper who would eagerly take on every photographic challenge for excellence using his creative genius.”
Evening Mail reporter Terry Horne, who worked with Dennis for more than 40 years and also started out in the printing department, said: “Dennis was a great bloke.
“As a reporter I would always love to go on an assignment with Dennis. He’d say ‘I get paid for this, something I love’.”
Dennis is survived by his wife of 35 years, Pat.
His funeral service will be held on Tuesday at St Mary’s Church, Walney. The service starts at 1.45pm. It will be followed by a service at Thorncliffe Crematorium, Barrow, from 2.30pm.
The family has requested family flowers only. Donations will go to the British Heart Foundation. There will be a gathering at the Lisdoonie Hotel, Barrow, after the services.