A young father of four, who was devoted to his wife and children, passed away on Monday, January 27, after battling cancer for almost three years.

Alex Charles Bruton was just 32 when he lost his life. He was at home with his wife Michelle and children Dean, aged 14, Ethan, 11, Kayleigh, 9, and Alex junior, who was nicknamed "Albo", aged 4.

Alex was born and lived for much of his life in York Road, Watford, with parents Lesley and Peter Bruton and brothers Aron and Ashley.

He attended Bushey Hall School and met his wife to be, Michelle Williams, of Crossmead, Watford, at the age of 13. The inseparable childhood sweethearts had their first child when he was 19 and she was 18.

The couple were married on October 20, 2012, and by this time their family was complete and all the children were there to enjoy the day. They made their home in Luton and Alex worked as a sales assistant at a local building merchants while Michelle stayed at home to care for their quickly growing family while retaining their close family links to Watford.

Regarding Alex’s early life, Michelle said: "When he was younger he was a little bit of a terror, in a nice way, but having children made him grow up and he became a responsible adult and a devoted dad and husband.

"Being a dad was the making of him."

Alex began feeling unwell in April 2011. He was fatigued and found it increasingly difficult to work. He was then diagnosed with melanoma. He began treatment and underwent an operation which showed the cancer was aggressive and had moved to his lymph glands.

Despite the seriousness of his condition, Alex declined to go into a hospice. Instead he wanted to be with his family in the home he loved and Michelle cared for him with the help of district nurses.

His health deteriorated rapidly but he suffered in silence. As Michelle explained: "Alex was getting worse but no one could see it. Because it was skin cancer no one could see his suffering.

"Despite everything he went through he put his pain behind him and remained devoted to me and the children."

Michelle was full of praise for the staff of Mount Vernon Hospital who helped care for him.

"They were fantastic throughout" she said. "I could call the oncologists any time, day or night, and they would listen and talk and advise me about what was happening and what I should do.

"All I would ask and pray is that people with skin cancer be scanned every month, rather than every three months which is the norm, because it progresses so quickly.

"Alex was scanned in the October and told he was clear, then a month later when he deteriorated they told him it had spread."

The funeral service will be held at West Herts Crematorium in Garston at 2pm on Friday, February 21.

All former friends and colleagues are welcome to attend, but it was Alex’s wish that only his immediate family should wear black.

He also requested no flowers and that donations instead be deposited in a trust fund for his young children. There will be collection boxes at the crematorium and donations can also be made through Co-operative Funeral Care of Lower High Street, Watford.