John Gillan, a 56-year-old man from Arbroath, died on Thursday last week when a tree hit his van amid Storm Babet. He was driving on the B9127 near Forfar, Angus, when the incident happened. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services.
His wife Gaynor Gillan paid tribute to her husband, calling him her “soulmate” and “best friend”. She said: “He was the most amazing husband, dad, grandad, son, brother and uncle. He was loved by everyone who knew him and he will be sorely missed.”
The couple had been married for 32 years and had a son, Marc Gillan, who is married to Natasha. They also had two grandchildren, Reygan and Finley. John was a loving son to John and Moira, a brother to Wendy and a caring uncle, son-in-law and brother-in-law.
The family said they were “devastated” by the loss of John and the circumstances in which he died. They thanked their family and friends for supporting them through this “indescribably difficult time” and asked for privacy to grieve.
Storm Babet was a powerful weather system that brought strong winds and heavy rain to parts of Scotland and northern England last week. It caused widespread disruption and damage, with fallen trees, power cuts and flooding reported in many areas.
The Met Office issued yellow and amber weather warnings for wind and rain, advising people to avoid travel and stay indoors. The storm also affected transport links, with some roads closed, trains cancelled and flights delayed or diverted.
John Gillan was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos. He had worked as a plumber and heating engineer for many years and had come into contact with the hazardous material.
He had been receiving care from Marie Curie, a charity that provides support and palliative care to people with terminal illnesses. He had also joined support groups for people affected by mesothelioma and had participated in clinical trials to find new treatments.
He had shown signs of improvement earlier this year, when a scan revealed that the cancer could not be detected. However, his condition worsened in the following months and he passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side.