Funeral held for climber Steve Holding who was killed in plane crash on flight to Nepal
FAMILY and friends gathered to say their last goodbyes to a mountaineer killed in a plane crash on his way to Mount Everest.
Carmountside Crematorium was packed with friends, neighbours, former colleagues and climbers, who all gathered to celebrate the life of Steve Holding.
The retired teacher – along with his old friend Tim Oaks – was among 19 passengers and crew on a flight to Nepal who were killed when the plane crashed shortly after take-off last month.
Yesterday, Mr Holding, of Barlaston, was remembered during a humanist ceremony.
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Mourners entered the chapel to the sound of the Maori lament, Moe Mai E Hine – Sleep Well, O' Loved One.
And they listened in silence as Mr Holding's friend, Duncan Bourne, sang his own composition, The High Himalaya Snow, which told of the 60-year-old climber's desire to see Everest and of his final, tragic journey.
Civil celebrant Evie Jesson, who conducted the service, said: "Steve's death was tragic and he will be missed and very lovingly remembered. The best people always leave the best memories."
Mr Holding was born in London where he started his working life as a teacher.
His love of the outdoors and travel was shown at an early age, and that continued through his life as he took up climbing and eventually became an instructor.
He met his wife Maggie on a staff teaching trip to Wales in 1988, and the couple lived together in London for 10 years before he proposed by dropping on one knee outside Buckingham Palace on Millennium Eve.
The couple then moved to Barlaston about eight years ago and became part of the village community.
Mr Holding ran his own supply teacher agency until taking early retirement, then volunteered with the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, and continued as a climbing instructor and guide.
Maggie said: "When Tim suggested Nepal, I encouraged Steve to go, so that just for once he would be doing things for himself. He always did things for others.
"Steve was quietly excited. It would have been the trip to top all his past experiences in the mountains and I couldn't wait to hear about it.
"It is good to know he was with a very old friend and was doing what he loved doing.
"We had many, many happy times together and planned for many more."