Chepstow entrepreneur dies in Spain
8:02am Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
THE builder of a Chepstow school and judo expert has died in Spain three years after an ear infection led to the discovery of cancer.
Michael Towell, formerly of Monmouthshire, moved abroad in the nineties. He was 72.
The grandfather of five built The Dell Primary and numerous homes in the local area.
He also financially assisted the set up of Chepstow male voice choir and had a spell as president.
Physically fit, Mr Towell was also very able in Welsh competitive sport, winning the Judo French Open in 1964.
He married Eda aged 21 and was offered the chance to train in Japan for seven years with master Kenshiro Abbe, but he turned it down and set up MRC Construction with two business partners.
They went on to built numerous properties in the local area including dozens of homes and Cas Gwent Chambers on Welsh Street.
Mr and Mrs Towell had two children Allison Fawcett, 48 and Kingsley, 46, who lives in Australia with his three children.
They lived in Shirenewton for 25 years until 1997 when the couple moved to Marbella.
After Mrs Towell sadly died in 2003, her husband re-married a Cuban lady called Mitsy Soto, 38, who he met in a restaurant.
But tragedy stuck, as three years ago it was thought he had an ear infection but he found a melanoma in its inner part.
This was after it began bleeding.
Mr Towell had it removed in an operation which involved 300 stiches to reattach the ear.
Daughter Allison went to visit him as he returned from hospital.
She said: "I remember he picked me up from the airport and he wouldn't let me lift my case. I would always stand up when a woman left the table, he really was a gentleman, very handsome and charming."
"Dad loved Spain. He used to ring me and say 'another day in paradise."
Despite the very best in healthcare, including £15,000 of the most powerful drugs on the market from Israel, the cancer spread.
Mr Towell died on August 28 and was cremated the day after in Madrid.
With little time to grieve, his family have organised a memorial service on October 11 at the Church of St Thomas a Becket, Shirenewton, next to where they used to live.
It starts at 2.30pm and Chepstow male voice choir are due to sing as a tribute.
Mrs Fawcett is also keen to stress that people should take care in the sun, wear factor 50 suncream and a hat.
"I don't think we really knew the risks when we were growing up. Dad didn't burn ever as he was olive skinned. He loved the sun, he was out in it on building sites," she said.
"After he was diagnosed he would never go out in it. He was a very loving family man, very charismatic with jet black hair and blue eyes. He loved singing, my parents lived for their grandchildren."
Founder of Chepstow male voice choir Bill Morgan said his friend has left a legacy behind: "It would have taken us a lot longer to be successful if Michael had not helped us. He sponsored our first two annual concerts. We are very grateful he built The Dell as that is where we practise. He was a smashing fellow."
Another member Alun Evans added: "He was a great character, wonderful with a bubbly personality."
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