A FORMER Chester schoolboy who was conducting pioneering research in South Africa has died suddenly at the age of 33.
Christopher Meacock, who lived in Pretoria, died of a suspected cardiac arrhythmia on February 20.
The former King’s School pupil is survived by parents Julie and Roy, of Penymaes Avenue, Wrexham, and siblings Robert, 26, and Lisa, 37.
Lisa told the Leader: “Chris was an extraordinarily complex and talented person.
“He was very clever, well read, well travelled, witty and politically aware. He had a opinion on everything. He was also extremely creative. He was very musical, playing and teaching guitar and was a capable artist.”
Dr Meacock studied material sciences at the University of Liverpool after the leaving the King’s School.
He went on to obtain a PhD from the Instituto Superior Tecnico in Lisbon in Portugal in 2008.
Lisa, a consultant radiologist at King’s College Hospital in London, added: “This was doubtless one of the happiest times of his life as he embraced Portuguese culture and became fluent in Portuguese.”
Dr Meacock worked as a senior researcher for the National Laser Centre in Pretoria, which is run by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Colleague Herman Burger said: “Dr Meacock followed the sun, first to Portugal and then to South Africa, primarily to escape from the British weather which he loathed.
As it turned out, he brought with him his own sunshine in the form of his sunny personality.
“Dr Meacock was loved by everyone, because he was exceedingly helpful, especially to the many students who sought his guidance.
“He will be remembered and missed as a gifted colleague who had a lot to offer.”
Colleague Hardus Greyling said: “It is with shock that his colleagues learnt of his passing. We are going to miss him, both as an individual and a colleague.”
Professor Sisa Pityana said: “He was one of my closest colleagues and a friend. Chris would always find a way of turning every situation into some kind of a joke.”
An inquest has been opened and adjourned by North East Wales and Central coroner, John Gittins. A post-mortem examination was performed in South Africa, but the cause of death has still not been ascertained.
Dr Meacock’s funeral is on Friday at Pentrebychan Crematorium in Wrexham at 11.30am. Donations in his memory may be given via the offertory plate.