Tributes paid to retired Shifnal businessman who had 'a heart of gold'

Tributes have been paid to a retired Shifnal businessman who "loved life" and had a "heart of gold".

Tributes have been paid to Michael Curle who died on holiday in Sri Lanka
Tributes have been paid to Michael Curle who died on holiday in Sri Lanka

Michael Curle, who previously lived and ran a business in Shifnal before moving to Cornwall, died on holiday in Sri Lanka last month, aged 75.

His funeral service took place at St Andrew's Church in Shifnal, followed by a celebration of his life at Haughton Hall Hotel, last week.

The retired managing director was born in Wolverhampton where at the age of 19 he went into timber felling.

An accident saw him fall 20 feet from a tree, causing him to break his back, and he was told he would never walk again.

But with the help of his friends, he was able to get back in shape and in 1965 he bought his first Bedford TK lorry and digger that was to begin the start of M J Curle Ltd – a firm specialising in plant and machinery hire in Shifnal.

Michael married Diane in 1967 and they had two sons, Stephen and Stuart.

The family moved to Sunnymead Farm in Shifnal and later had two daughters, Cherie and Victoria.

Michael expanded his business over the years with low loader lorries and Caterpillar diggers.

His family said he became well known in the haulage industry as a "sincere, genuine businessman with a heart of gold".

Michael's daughter Cherie Chilton said: "He was a very hard working man who loved his family."

Michael was also a farmer at Sunnymead Farm and kept livestock.

In 1992 Michael bought a holiday cottage in Polperro, Cornwall.

Cherie said Michael volunteered to work on the fishing trawlers and was loved by everyone.

He was also a grandfather to Joseph, Shelby, Harmoni, Harleigh, Charlie, Thomas and Rosie.

Cherie said: "His passions were not only his family and grandchildren.

"He loved walking, sea fishing and swimming.

"He loved life and lived it to the full. He was a great man who shall be missed by many."

Michael was a boat owner and loved and supported the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Donations amounting to £970 have been collected for the charity in his memory.

An inquest into his death, which was recently opened and adjourned at Shropshire Coroner’s Court, heard that he tragically died on March 7 while on a holiday abroad with his wife.

The inquest heard he had gone swimming in the sea in Sri Lanka and his body was found on the shore.

The inquest was adjourned for further investigations to be carried out.

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