The fiancée of a man who died in a road accident on Christmas Day has paid loving tribute to him.
Debbie Smyth said Mark Price was “compassionate and totally selfless” and would be missed by all who knew him.
Mr Price, 51, of Town Green Street, Rothley, was one of two people who died in the tragic Christmas Day accident on the A606 near Langham. Both he and 48-year-old Lynda Wade, who was driving another car, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Price was driving back to Rothley at the time of the accident, having spent the early morning in Oakham with his ex-wife Sharon and their daughter Charlotte, 12.
The talented chef was due to marry Miss Smyth, 52, on January 17. The couple had just moved into their new home in Rothley in mid-December.
In a statement released on Friday, Miss Smyth said: “Mark was one of those rare people who was liked by everyone he met. He was witty, sincere, compassionate and totally selfless. He raised hundreds of pounds for charities such as Loros and the Air Ambulance. All this, despite being an ardent Aston Villa and English cricket supporter.
“He was truly a unique person.”
Mr Price spent his career in catering, working in numerous kitchens on his way to becoming a senior chef in the Michelin Star kitchens at Mallory Court in Leamington Spa. From there he worked for Mars Catering in Melton Mowbray, where he travelled and worked for the company in the Middle East and Russia.
Thirteen years ago he became executive head chef at Loughborough University, and was promoted to head of catering services five years ago. He was responsible for more than 100 staff and a number of catering outlets, including award-winning conference facilities. It was whilst he was working at the University that he met his fiancée.
Miss Smyth said: “Since the tragic accident the outpouring of grief and disbelief at his passing has been overwhelming. Friends, family and colleagues from Rothley and across the country have been stunned by the news.
“Mark’s mum Gill, 71, who lives in Leamington Spa and Dad Derrick, 72, who lives in Great Barr in the West Midlands, have been comforted by the outpouring of love and respect for their devoted son. Gill and Derrick are being supported by their respective partners, Keith and Ann.
“All who knew Mark will regret his passing and feel the world will be a poorer place for his loss.”
Mr Price’s funeral has been arranged for January 14 in Rothley.
Police are still appealing for witnesses to the crash, which happened at about 9am on Christmas Day. Mr Price was driving a Toyota Auris and Ms Wade a Ford C-Max. If you saw anything call DC 1761 Pete Davies on 101.