Glowing tributes have been paid to a Shotts community champion described by his family as their hero.
Francis Fallan MBE passed away in hospital at the age of 75 earlier this month after a short illness.
Mr Fallan was not only involved in a number of groups and organisations down the years but was also a beloved family man.
Mr Fallan’s grand-daughter, Lynne Forrest, said: “Francis was the heart of our family, he was well known as a joker and prankster, with the most infectious and loving laugh. “He supported every one of us in our achievements and picking us up in our lowest moments.
“His loving and fun character will continue in the hearts of all the family forevermore.
“Continuing to live our lives without him will be very difficult, he is a huge loss to us all, he was our hero.
“We as a family send a sincere thank you to all staff who cared for Francis throughout his time as University Hospital Wishaw and also to Dr Arnott and staff at Shotts Health Centre for their support, he was very fond of them all.”
Mr Fallan celebrated both his 75th birthday and 55th wedding anniversary to his wife Jane this year.
He doted on his four children and enjoyed being a grandfather and great-grandfather.
Mr Fallan attended St Patrick’s JS School in Shotts leaving to become a coalminer.
He then trained as a psychiatric nurse was a representative at local and national level with the National Union of Public Employees.
Mr Fallan was involved in several organisations in the Fortissat area and across North Lanarkshire serving as chairperson of Lanarkshire Links from 2002 until his death.
Lanarkshire Links manager Liz MacWhinney said: “Francis Fallan will be remembered as a real honest gentleman who will be sadly missed for his sense of humour, generosity, kindness and common sense.
“He passionately believed that mental health service users and carers, who want to make changes, should be provided with the right training, development and on-going assistance to do so.
“He served as chairperson of Lanarkshire Links since 2002 successfully influencing policy development and service provision.
“He believed that the quality of a service is determined as much by the patient experience as it is by clinical outcomes
“He served on the board of numerous voluntary sector organisations and supported people as a volunteer advocate assisting with benefit claims and representation at appeal hearings; something that he was still doing in recent weeks.
“For his pioneering work with staff, service users and carers he received local, national and international recognition. The culmination of these was being awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the Golden Jubilee Honours List.”
As well as devoting time to his family and several community groups, Mr Fallon was also active in local politics standing in several elections for Labour.
Fortissat Labour councillor and close friend of Mr Fallan’s, Clare Quigley, said: “On a personal level it’s a great loss. He was my election agent back in 2017.
“He was always there to give advice and support over the years.
“But he always tempered that with good humour. There was always a joke or a funny story.
“Frank was a founder member of GBT Shotts and worked very hard to get that off the ground and served as chairman for a number of years.
“He was also the chair of Lanarkshire Links for many years. It wasn’t just the people of Shotts and Fortissat that he helped down the years but across Lanarkshire.
“He worked tirelessly to improve people’s lives and gave a voice to people who couldn’t speak for themselves.”
The funeral is on Wednesday 28th October 2020 at 9:30am at St Patricks in Shotts and thereafter 10:45am at Benhar Cemetry. The service will also be available to view on the Facebook page for St Patrick’s Chapel, this is the link https://www.facebook.com/groups/3556724407690013/.
The family have requested no flowers and invite donations to help raise £1500 to donate to mental health charities
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