A man who died alongside his wife after inhaling toxic fumes from a generator had beaten cancer, friends have said.
Ken and Dorothy Swallow who were found dead in bed at their country home in Malthouse Lane, Hurstpierpoint, near Burgess Hill, on Boxing Day.
The couple, parents to Nigel, Daryl and Lisa, were found by family. Police believe they had inhaled toxic fumes from a generator they were using following a power cut, possibly caused by storms.
Lisa Gray told how she had worked for Mr Swallow for ten years. “He was one of the best managers I have ever known, he really cared about his staff,” she said.
“I used to see him in Brighton selling his son's photography prints and around Burgess Hill and after 25 years he still remembered me and would say hello.”
Their niece Becky Powis-Jones (COR) added: “I'm so terribly sad and sorry to hear of the tragic loss of Uncle Ken and Auntie Dorothy on Boxing Day.
“They were such a lovely aunt and uncle and I have very fond memories of the last time I saw them both in Brighton and so very glad that in the absence of my own dad I introduced Ken to my husband, who dad had never met.”
Susannah Bishop added: “I owned a cafe in Hassocks and Ken was a customer.
“When I was struggling with the accounts, he helped me for a year, with no charge, just to help.
“He was an amazing, kind and caring person.
“He helped with the local football club and was incredibly generous with his time and expertise.
“He helped his son selling the local Brighton calendar; selling it in Brighton Centre and The Lanes. He will be sadly missed. I am so sorry to hear this news after he fought to beat cancer as well.”
Debbie Dyke said: “Ken and Dorothy Swallow have been family friends of ours for many years.
“Ken went to school with my father so they have been friends for about 65 years.
“We were all deeply saddened to hear the news of their deaths over the Christmas period. My father has many happy and fond memories of his friendship with Ken and is finding his passing quite hard to deal with at the moment.”
John, an old school friend of Mr Swallow's, added: “Myself, Ken and Mike Siblock started school together in 1947 and have stayed friends through the years.
“I am very sad at the loss of Ken and Dot. So many happy memories and lots of stories.”
Anyone affected by this tragedy or who is in need of advice can contact the carbon monoxide awareness charity www.co-awareness.org.