CORRECTION: Young family in mourning after doting father’s death
A local community is rallying around a young Richmond family devastated by the tragic death of McNair grad Paul Mitford.
The 31-year-old father of two died from injuries he suffered when he was struck by a Volvo as he crossed Steveston Highway, near No. 4 Road, during heavy rains and dark conditions on Nov. 22. Richmond RCMP Cpl. Sherrdean Turley said the driver didn’t see the pedestrian until he was struck.
Mitford was the main bread-winner in the family, and his death has devastated his wife Jennifer Netzlaw, their children Aiden, 8, and Kayleigh, 6, and the rest of their family.
Now a trust fund has been set up for the family at TD Canada Trust (No. 9725-6337443)—an incorrect number was previously supplied to The Richmond Review. Trustees on the account are Paul’s father, Peter Mitford, and Paul’s aunt, Gail McIntosh, and cheques should be written out to both of their names.
Paul Mitford lived in Richmond for almost his entire life, and attended Thomas Kidd Elementary before enrolling at Hugh McRoberts when it was still a junior high, and then Matthew McNair Secondary.
Described as a friendly, outgoing person who had a big heart and a great sense of humour, Mitford worked at Skretting Canada to support his young family.
“He worked every bit of overtime available being the main provider in the family,” said his mother Marjory. “Paul, as a father...he was a big kid himself and loved to roughhouse with both his kids and watch movies with them, read them bedtime stories when he had the opportunity...We are all walking around in a fog right now...it just seems to be a bad nightmare that we will hopefully wake up from.”
A fundraiser has been set up at The Fridge, at Fraserview Church, 11295 Mellis Dr., on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.
An appeal on a Facebook page reads: “Please bring cash, gift cards (grocery stores and retail stores such as Walmart and Zellers), kids clothes or canned goods. I know times are rough for a lot of us and even $5 or $1 all adds up :) There will be a card as well for whoever wants to sign can sign :)”
Efforts are also underway at the elementary school that Mitford’s children attend to assist the family.
Mitford doted on his kids and wife, and would do anything for them, his mother Marjory said.
“With Kayleigh he would pretend she was at a hairdressing salon when she was getting her hair washed, he would tilt her head backwards over the sink and play the part of being Mr. Paul her private hairdresser!! With Aiden he would teach him the different moves that he used to do on a skateboard, they would go swimming as a family at South Arm and camping in the summer.”