The following Eulogy for Stuart was written and recited by Kylie Warwick his funeral service on May 25th. Kylie is Stuarts son's Lee's partner.
Stuart Grassick Godfrey was born in February 1958 at Oldechurch Hospital which is now Queens. He went to Abbots High School and was very conscientious - at 11, he passed the 11 plus exams and went to Aveley Tech where his biggest bug bear was wearing the school uniform.
Stuart, his Dad John and his younger brother Phillip often went fishing up the warren in Wharf Road. Stuart had a Saturday job at 13 in Partridges Dairies and he would get up at 4.30am to help the milkman at weekends.
He joined the cubs and the scouts, often going camping and enjoying various activities. At 16, he left school and started a 3-year apprenticeship with G.P.O on the telephones. On his 16th birthday, he got a motorbike, then eventually a car and did the maintenance on both vehicles. He didn't want to stay with the G.P.O once his apprenticeship had ended and moved on to the assembly line at Ford in Dagenham. He was a worker, especially when he started in the film industry, he found something he really enjoyed.
Then he met Susan, she was good for him. They met in 1978 at The Highway Pub Susan worked in. After a short time, Stuart asked Susan if he could take her home after her shift (which later transpired was a bet between his friends as they thought she would say no). Stuart asked Susan out for a drink a few weeks later but turned up late, wearing a white vest top and Bell Bottom Jeans so Susan told him to go home and change.
Stuart was quite the romantic, he whisked Susan away on various weekends to Santa Pod to enjoy the fast cars and particularly embraced the luxurious camping style that Susan introduced. Stuart was a big fan of Drag Racing and followed Vic Hammond at these events - little did he know that only a few years later, they would develop a good friendship and close working relationship; something that Stuart was most proud of; working with his idol.
Stuart married Susan in September 1981 and they moved into their first house in Queens Park, Billericay. Susan fell pregnant and Lee was born in August 1984. Whilst in hospital, Stuart bribed the Sister to move Susan up the list so that he could be present for the birth as he was due to drive to Scotland that day for work. He returned the following Sunday and caused chaos at the ward entrance because they wouldn't let him in, not realizing who he was. It was Stuart that decided on the name Lee, Susan only realized when the baby cards arrived but it was a good decision. They moved again in 1990 to their current home in Billericay and in 1992, Alice came along. Stuart made sure he was present this time and spent a lot of time doting on his children and filming their every move.
Stuart introduced Lee to his love of fast cars and took him karting. A hobby that involved many weekends away competing and travelling all over the country; racing against the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Alice wanted a pony as soon as she could speak and after her first pony ride at a friend's birthday party, she was hooked. He loved watching Alice progress with the horses and when the opportunity came along to compete internationally in Spain, Stuart jumped at the chance. He took great delight in capturing Lee and Alice's achievements, all those events, shows and races were photographed, filmed and edited for his vast media library. He was an incredibly proud father and supported his children in all their endeavors.
The family enjoyed holidays to Disneyland, Florida Keys, Lapland and Thailand when work permitted and so many precious memories were made. When tragedy struck in Thailand on Boxing Day 2004, Stuart acted quickly and when he ensured his family was safe, he selflessly turned his attention to those in need. Helping where he could with the search for those who were missing, booking flights, arranging transport to hospitals, providing supplies to the injured and putting his own rescue mission into place - he, as so many of us expected him to, took the lead in a truly heartbreaking situation.
Stuart was a very intelligent man, both in work and at home. He was fascinated by technology and gadgets and was always doing something in the office or around the house. He also loved to teach. One thing that has become quite apparent from the tributes that have been pouring in is that he put a lot of his knowledge and experiences in others to help them grow in the business, in particular, his prodigy, his son Lee. He became an assessor given his extensive work history and superb teaching ability and was looked up to by so many young grips, just starting out in an industry that Stuart began some 30 years before.
He was known as Gordon Godfrey at home, given his love of food and cooking. He was always throwing random ingredients together that would strangely transform in to the most fantastic masterpiece, and if it made it into the recipe folder, then it was a hit. Christmas was always a particularly Beautiful experience, Stuart took the lead in the kitchen and we were his merry elves (merry because he insisted we open the wine at 10am) and if the lavish food wasn't enough, there was the sight of Stuart in his Santa hat and t-shirt that marked the occasion magnificently.
Stuart defines the words Strong and Courageous to a T - taking on his battle with Cancer in a rather matter of fact way and refusing to let it take away what he loved without a fight, and it was one hell of a fight. He held his head high throughout his treatment and found a creative outlet in writing his Blog to inform others of his journey, regularly posting his thoughts, feelings and pictures to not only give him a sense of comfort but also to those around him, keeping them in the loop and giving them a sense of understanding. The blog attracted love and support from friends, colleagues working afar and even strangers that explored his honesty and humor that we know so well.
Stuart was one of a kind. He wasn't cut from the same cloth and they no longer make that material anymore. He is without doubt, the most genuine and remarkable person I have ever met and like so many others I am truly honored to have met and known such an extraordinary character. I am also amazed that he looked so good in shorts, a trademark that you will all remember him by I'm sure.
The hardest challenge for me is putting in to words a fitting tribute for a man who quite honestly is a legend. How do you capture the pure essence of someone who gave so much and took so little? It's humbling to see how loved and admired Stuart was. He was a generous, kind and determined man whose sense of humor always served him well. He's one of those people that would do whatever he could to help, and would just get on with any task in hand. It has been so very heartwarming to see how much of an incredible impact he has had to so many people and they have seen what we always knew and loved.
Stuart, you will be whole heartedly missed by us all but your love of life, strength in character and method in teaching will forever live on. You will always be in our hearts and we take comfort that you are now at peace and thank you for all that you have given us.
So now, we'll leave you alone, you know what you're doing. Goodnight and God Bless.