Family and friends have paid tribute to a Falmouth man who has died after a short battle with cancer at the age of 69.

Alan Offord, son of former Falmouth mayor Dr Francis Offord and his wife Enid, was well known for his work in schools, capturing the hearts of many children with his puppet, Charlie.

His wife, Sue, said: “We, his closest family, said our goodbyes and tried to clumsily express our love for him as we entrusted him into God’s care. My time for loving and cherishing ended at approximately 11.20pm as he uttered his last breath and God’s heavenly team took over.”

Visiting all the schools within a five-mile radius of Falmouth, Alan spent the last 24 years of his life leading school assemblies, RE lessons and Kidz Klubs, as well as helping with Family Time, Messy Church and Create Station.

Alan’s work extended far beyond schools, and he could often be found visiting people on ships at the docks and in supermarkets, chatting to people on the street and taking services in day centres.

Sue added: “I am so grateful for 37 great years together and two wonderful children, along with a trail of hearts he touched through his work as an evangelist.

"My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has left messages of sympathy and shared memories of Alan. He was a good man who has left a big hole.”

Tributes have been flooding in on facebook and on the family’s blog.

One post said: “My three children have such fond memories of “Mr Offord the puppet man” - he left a lasting impression on them.”

“A pure joy spreader and an inspiration to so many, I will miss you Alan and your energy for spreading love and life in everything you did.”

A thanksgiving service for Alan will be held at Falmouth Methodist Church on Friday, July 19, at 1.30pm.

If you wish to attend, please wear clothing that you feel comfortable in and bring a pebble with you, to be used in the service as a way of thanksgiving and remembrance. There will be a retiring collection for MacMillan and OAC Ministries.

For further information, please follow the Offord family’s blog: