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November 8, 2018updated 30 Sep 2022 7:03am

Tributes paid to former Wiltshire Times deputy editor who married partner on hospital ward before death

By James Walker

Tributes have been paid to a former Wiltshire Times deputy editor who married his partner of 28 years in hospital days before his death.

Keith Gale, 72, was admitted to the Royal United Hospital in Bath the week before his death. He and his wife Pauline (pictured) married shortly after.

RUH staff organised the couple’s wedding on the ward, which was watched by Keith’s two children and brother Roger.

Pauline Gale said hospital staff “were wonderful and pulled out all the stops for us”, adding: “It was lovely.”

Gale died on Sunday after a “short illness”.

He served two stints as the paper’s deputy editor – the first in 1990 and the second from 1996 to his retirement in 2008.

A year after he took on the role for the second time, the Wiltshire Times won the weekly paper of the year prize at the South West Media Awards.

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Gale began his career as a trainee reporter on the St Neots Advertiser in Cambridgeshire before going on to work for a number of local titles covering Biggleswade, Wembley, Bedford and Bath.

Keith, who lived in Tytherington near Frome, was also a journalism lecturer at the Westminster Press training centre in Hastings, Sussex.

After his retirement from journalism in 2008, he and his wife set up their own PR firm called PR Plus Media.

Former colleague Gary Lawrence said: “Keith was one of the good guys of the newspaper world.

“He was a ferociously hard worker, kind, loyal and very, very funny.

“I never met anyone who didn’t speak of him warmly and my career was richer for having spent a precious few years with him.”

On Facebook, former Wiltshire Times reporter Lucy Bailey wrote: “He was a kind, generous and witty man and, of course, a fabulous journalist.

“What Keith didn’t know about the newsroom wasn’t worth knowing. Always a tale to tell and a twinkle in his eye.”

A funeral service for the grandfather of four will be held at 3.45pm on Monday 19 November at West Wilts Crematorium, Semington.

Flowers are for family only, but donations can be made to the Friends of Frome Community Hospital and Dorothy House Hospice through William Adlam Funeral Director, Frome.

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