THE family of a young dad and musician who died 10,000 miles away from his home town have announced details of arrangements for his funeral.
Ash Dean, who died on February 7 from pneumonia and septicemia after complaining of flu-like symptoms, will be laid to rest on Friday, February 25.
The 24-year-old’s funeral will take place at Stranton Grange Crematorium, in Hartlepool at 11am.
The Mail reported on Tuesday that Ash died just a month after becoming a first-time dad to son, Jayden.
He passed away at a friend’s home in Lemon Tree Passage, in New South Wales, Australia, five days after he had first texted his mum, Dorothy, in Hartlepool, telling her he had flu.
Ash had set up home in Australia a year ago in the hope of making it big after years on the North-East music scene.
He had played in various Hartlepool venues including Escobar, The Park Inn and The Nursery.
But Dorothy, 55, was left distraught when she was contacted by Australian Foreign Office officials and Cleveland Police who informed her Ash was dead.
Today, Dorothy, from Mayflower Close at Hartlepool Marina, thanked well-wishers for their cards, flowers and words of sympathy during the family’s difficult time.
She said her husband Michael, a 57-year-old retired pharmaceuticals industry worker, is still in Australia making arrangements to fly Ash home.
The aspiring singer/songwriter is expected to be repatriated into the UK on Tuesday.
Dorothy, who is also mum to 21-year-old Durham University student Stephanie, said: “My husband is still in Australia and it’s really difficult for him on his own.
“We have family over there but it’s on the other side of the country.
“I think it will be a little easier when he gets back.”
Dorothy, who works for a private healthcare company in Middlesbrough, added: “We have received so many cards and flowers.
“It’s a comfort to know that so many people care and thought of Ash.
“He was obviously really popular and we didn’t realise he had so many friends.
“There is a facebook page called RIP Ash Dean and some of the messages on there have been really nice.
“People have got good memories of him.
“He obviously has many friends - people he has met on his travels.
“I’d like to thank people for their support and kind words, kind thoughts, cards, flowers and all the nice tributes and the nice things said about Ash.
“It’s a comfort, it really is.”
Details of a wake after the service are to follow.