A LOVING husband took his last breath just moments after chatting and kissing with his wife of just one year.
Alan Dean and wife Michelle were relaxing in bed at their home in Fulwood, Preston, after returning from a romantic Lake District trip to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
Keen salsa dancer Alan, 61, had suffered an aortic dissection, where an artery to his heart burst suddenly, even though he had been “fit and healthy”.
Heartbroken Michelle, 33, said: “It doesn’t seem real. It’s like he’s going to come back.
“We were just cuddling and kissing and talking and it just seems very strange.”
The couple, who married in Cyprus a year ago, met when biomedical scientist Michelle took her car to Alan’s garage in Lytham Road, and he persuaded her to try a beginner’s dancing lesson.
They enjoyed dancing and camping together for another eight years and Michelle said each year of their relationship was better than the one before.
Alan had lost his previous wife Amanda in a car crash in 2000.
Michelle said: “When I first met him he was still very troubled and still going through a bad time.
“But the longer we were together, the more he seemed content and happy in himself and the last 12 months he seemed so relaxed and just really, really happy.”
The pair loved their time together at Dancers dance school. Michelle said: “Somebody who came to visit me said, ‘I loved watching you two walk into a room because your happiness radiated and everybody wanted to be near you because together you gave off such a happy vibe.’
“From when we first met we had a chemistry, and my life has been turned upside down. I was just happy in his company.”
Michelle said Alan was half-Italian. “His middle name was Mario, he used to say ‘Super Mario’ on the dance floor,” she said.
“And he called me his ‘LE’ – he said I was his limited edition.
“We were never apart, we did everything together.
“He always put toothpaste on my toothbrush every morning and night, just little things like that.
“From the moment I met him until the day he died, every day I was at work I rang him at dinner time, and if I didn’t ring him he met me for dinner.
“You say he’s my other half, but we really were complete.”
Devastated Michelle said her life would not be the same without her husband, and said: “It just doesn’t make any sense.
“I was so lucky to have my own Patrick Swayze and be swept off my feet.
“I would do anything to bring him back.”
Alan’s funeral was held at a packed Fulwood Methodist Church, and “Rolex” was written on the side of his coffin, to reflect his love of watches.
In her eulogy to Alan, Michelle wrote: “I will cherish every second we spent together so dearly, and one day we will dance together on the brightest star in the sky.”