BY ADAM CAILLER
STACEY Rosenberg lost her brother Simon Desser to cancer in September.
But she described a tribute event to the 50-year-old on Saturday night as “such a positive experience, after going through such a sad and negative one”.
It was the second tragedy to hit the family after mother Jill Desser died from the same illness 10 years ago.
King David Primary School headteacher Stacey, her father Gordon, and Simon’s 18-year-old daughter Phoebe were joined by more than 50 friends and family at a Whitefield pub on Saturday, to remember him.
Simon’s son, James, 22, was unable to attend.
The event was organised by close friends Francine Morris and Rafe Conn and sponsored by Mark Weingard.
The venue was where Simon spent many of his younger social days chatting about music, photography and other things.
Stacey said: “He was trendy, cool and heavily into photography.
“He loved music and would often find bands before they were famous.
“He had a number of friends from his days at Bury Grammar School and Bury College who had similar interests to him.
“Simon was also a DJ, known as Decent Dee. Near the end of his life, when he was in hospital, he recorded the sounds he heard and mixed them into a song.”
Simon was always ahead of the crowd with the latest music trends.
He was heavily into hip-hop, as well as being a big fan of Manchester band The Smiths.
He also championed the music of his friend Bryan Glancy, who died in 2006. Simon had been trying to get the release of an album by Bryan, who was the inspiration behind Elbow’s Mercury Prize winning album, Seldom Seen Kid.
Simon dabbled in music too, producing tracks by a number of local artists. He would also post remixes of tracks on his Instagram page.
Simon started to work in the family business — Desser and Company furniture company — at the age of seven.
In his teenage years, he was a member of Jewish youth group BBYO.
Stacey continued: “It was heart-warming to see how many people came and remembered Simon so fondly.
“People were chatting about him and remembering happy and good times.
“They were sharing stories of him being such a great guy — nobody had a bad word to say about him.
“It was helpful to his daughter Phoebe to hear people reminisce and hear people talk about her dad in such a positive way.”
Guests had their memories of Simon filmed.
Stacey praised the support both the family and Simon had received from organisations such as The Christie and Belong Morris Feinmann in Didsbury.
She said: “They were fabulous. Unfortunately, a man of that age should not be living somewhere like the Morris Feinmann home, but because he was living on his own and his children weren’t old enough to look after him, and his father is 76, he had to.
“It was horrendous, but he didn’t want to talk about that.
“Over the last 14 months of his life, he proved to me how brave and stoic he was.”
When asked what she had learned about her younger brother, Stacey struggled to put into words her feelings.
She said: “I looked after him, and, when we were kids, I would be the big sister who would take control.”
Stacey added: “He had to go to every single appointment on time, and take whatever the hospitals would throw at him — and very bravely.
“I admire that. He really was a good, well-loved guy who was an adoring father.”
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