A WIFE has spoken of her shock after her “incredible” husband died suddenly, aged just 37.
Father-of-three Gareth Utting, an English teacher who was also a martial arts instructor, was rushed to hospital on Wednesday, April 2 and later died from what is believed to have been a heart attack.
Emergency department doctors tried to resuscitate him for two hours, but were unable to revive him.
His wife Alison said nobody had expected the tragic death and paid a moving tribute to the “amazing dad” and “incredible husband”.
Mrs Utting said: “Both of our sets of friends would tell you we were so much happier together than we were before.
“He was an amazing dad and was totally hands-on with them.
“Gareth was a proud Welshman and even tried to get our children born in Wrexham, but they wouldn’t hold on that long.
“We were active members of the church in Penycae, which is a very close church family.”
Mr Utting was an active member of Penycae Neighbourhood Church of the Nazarene on Stryt Issa.
He was born in Wrexham and studied at the former North East Wales Institute – now Glyndwr University – where he met his wife.
Mr Utting lived in Ellesmere, Shropshire, with his wife and three children, Sam, 14, Ioan, four, and Catrin, one.
Mrs Utting, who married Gareth in 2011, said she was in shock at his sudden death.
She said: “We had no idea at all this would happen.
“Gareth’s father died in his 40s of a heart attack, which at the time seemed shockingly young, but now it doesn’t so much.
“He was always aware he had that genetic disposition and he looked after himself.
He was so active, he would do martial arts three times a week, he was always keeping fit at home.
“When the pain started he thought it was a muscular pain. He had been doing pull-ups on the kids’ climbing frame.
“We thought he had hurt his back and when he went in the ambulance to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital I didn’t go with him because I didn't think it was anything too serious.
“They said they wanted to check for an irregular heart rhythm. But while he was in hospital he had a second heart attack.
“The staff in the A&E department were utterly brilliant, they did CPR on him for nearly two hours. They had called me in at that point, but he was unconscious.”
Mr Utting was an instructor in eskrima, a form of martial arts, where he took classes at Glyndwr University with the Gagnon Martial Arts Academy.
A funeral service will take place at St Mary’s Church, Ellesmere, on Monday at 11am.
Mrs Utting said: “The pastor of the church in Penycae will be taking the service, we would have had it at the neighbourhood church naturally, but the building will not be big enough for everyone who will be attending.”
People attending the funeral are encouraged to wear bright clothing.
Tracy Day, pastor at Penycae Neighbourhood Church, said: “We all miss him. It was such a shock to the church when he died.
“He had a great sense of humour and loved to chat to people. Nobody ever had a bad word to say about him.”