TRIBUTES have been paid to a “caring and benevolent” man, whose everyday walks made him a friend to many.

Every day, Charles Lax, from Darlington, could be found walking in the South Park on one of his two walks, often chatting to another passerby.

Mr Lax, who owned William Lax and Son building contractors, first began strolling through South Park after he had moved to a flat near the park.

His daughter, Margaret Fearnley, said: “After he retired, dad would walk both my sons to school.

“Once they went to secondary school, he still wanted to take his regular walks to he would collect our two dogs and go for a walk each day in and around Blackwell, down to the river or to the South Park.”

Four years ago, Mr Lax was diagnosed with heart failure.

The Northern Echo:

Charles Lax during one of his walks

He was on oxygen therapy, but doctors advised him to continue exercising in order to keep active.

“He would take his oxygen with him to the park everyday,” said Mrs Fearnley.

“Nothing stopped him taking his daily walk.”

After years of walking through South Park, Mr Lax had become a regular face to other visitors.

Mrs Fearnley said: “He was a quiet person really, but he was very polite and always happy to engage and talk with people. He had this belief system which he lived by, and that was that every day is made better if you do a good deed for someone else. I know he appreciated people’s friendliness towards him on his daily strolls.

“Dad particularly liked seeing children enjoy the park with their parents or grandparents, especially those that chose to walk that way to school as it reminded him of his school walks with his grandchildren.”

The Northern Echo:

Charles Lax

Mr Lax died at age 94 at Wilton House on Saturday, August 15.

He was a dearly loved husband of Rita, whom he was married to for more than 60 years.

He leaves his children Richard and Margaret, grandchildren Daniel and Nicholas, son-in-law Brian and sister Connie.