A heartbroken wife has paid tribute to her popular and “perfect” husband, who died after a battle with skin cancer.

Dad-of-eight Mark Kirkman, 53, died at home in Forest Road, Witham, last Tuesday surrounded by his children and holding his wife’s hand.

His wife Jan Kirkman, 43, who married Mr Kirkman twice after divorcing him in her 20s and re-marrying him on Valentine’s Day this year, described him as her “safety blanket” which has been suddenly taken from her.

Grandfather Mr Kirkman, a maintenance engineer at Inviron, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and fought it off once before it returned and spread through his body.

He was told it was terminal in December.

Together with Mrs Kirkman, they decided to tie the knot for the second and final time.

See this week's Witham Times for the full story.