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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December, 2004, 17:26 GMT
Quake victim's wedding proposal
Taylor Howard
David Page, with partner Sharon, brothers Taylor (l) and Mason
A holidaymaker feared dead along with his partner's sons after the Asian earthquake, had proposed marriage the day before the waves struck.

David Page of Graffham, West Sussex, was on holiday with Sharon Howard and her sons, from St Ives, Cornwall.

Mrs Howard's son Taylor, six, is dead and her other son, Mason, eight, is missing, presumed dead, after tsunami hit their Thai resort.

Mrs Howard is now recovering in a Bangkok hospital.

Police say she has been told about her sons and her long-term boyfriend.

Mrs Howard had contacted her parents on Christmas Day to tell them of their plan to get married.
Sharon was the happiest she had ever been with David
Rita Coop

Her parents, Rita and Trevor Coop, said in a statement that they were devastated by the tragedy.

"We last heard from Sharon, David and the boys on Christmas Day and they sounded so happy.

"They were having a wonderful holiday and David had proposed to Sharon earlier that day.

"Sharon was the happiest she had ever been with David and was a devoted mother to her boys.

"She was hugely popular in the St Ives area and we have been inundated with calls of support from friends and family which we are so grateful for," they said.

Exceptionally kind

They said Taylor and Mason were "such beautiful boys".

"We would have been proud to have had David as a son-in-law.

"He was exceptionally kind and generous and adored the children. Our thoughts are with his family."

Mr Page's brother Martin, of St Ives, said: "Sharon and David had decided to have a future together as a family unit and it is tragic that this has been taken away from them in this way."

A book of condolence for the family is to be opened at St Anta's Church, Carbis Bay, where Mr and Mrs Coop ran a hotel.

A huge undersea quake on Sunday triggered sea surges, killing tens of thousands of people.

Millions are homeless, and the disaster zone is now threatened with outbreaks of disease.

Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Thailand were among the worst hit by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which sent huge waves from Malaysia to Africa.

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