Patrick Florence, known as Paddy, moved to Torry as a baby. Born on April 16 1980 he was a fun-loving boy since birth.
Son of Mike and Babs Florence, he had one brother, Kevin, and attended Victoria Road Primary then Torry Academy.
His name – and his life – are remembered on the Greyhope Bay bench.
On leaving school Paddy found work in a fish house but this was quickly replaced with something he loved – “doing gardens” for Aberdeen City Council.
At just 25 years old, in 2005, Paddy found out he had cancer. What started with a sore cheek bone prompted investigations. He was later told there was a tumour behind his right eye.
The head and neck cancer would plague Paddy for the next decade.
Babs said: “He fought it and fought it but eventually it was too much for him. It came back three times.”
By 2006 Paddy needed to be fed by a peg directly into his stomach. The result of this was him having to give up work.
“He never lost his sense of humour – he was still a prankster – but he did need to stop working and that was hard for him. Thankfully he had a lot of friends and had his dog for company.”
On April 19 2015 just days after his 35th birthday Paddy passed away in the Intensive Care unit of the ARI with his mum by his side.
A crushing blow to his family, Babs said when Paddy’s dad Mike also died in 2019, he had never got over the loss of his boy.
And though Babs inherited Paddy’s dog, she also pined for her owner and passed away shortly after Paddy.
“We’ve had such a lot of loss to contend with,” said Babs. “I miss him dearly. Getting cancer at such a young age was so hard. He was brave. Every single day he was brave.”
A place to remember Paddy
Following Paddy’s death his friends suggested placing a plaque on the bench where he loved to sit with his dog.
“I’ve got the ashes of Paddy and his dad here with me. I don’t want to be away from them. So having a plaque on the bench means I have a place to go to feel close to him, and so do his friends.
“He was such a popular lad in Torry, and that memorial bench is connected to so many people that when I sit there I can remember all the mischief he got up to up there.”