08/10/2014 05:12 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Dad Of 16 Dies Suddenly, Aged 56

Wales News Service

A dad who fathered 16 children and had 33 grandkids has died suddenly at the age of 56.

Steel fixer Terry Harvey died on September 16 after a heart attack, leaving Maria, his wife of 35 years, heartbroken.

His family told Wales Online: "Terry was a brilliant dad - he worked long hours but always helped to look after the children getting up in the middle of the night to help when they were young.

"He was always proud of supporting his large family despite many people advising him that he might be better off claiming benefits.

"He used to say, 'I didn't have my kids for the Government to support them - that's my job'."

Terry used to say Marie was a supermum running one of the smoothest households in Britain from their five-bedroom home in Llanedeyrn, Cardiff.

Together they looked after their children Machala, 36, Leanne, 34, Tracey, 33, Samantha, 32, Christopher, 31, Colin, 29, Jodie, 28, Amy, 26, Kimberly, 25, Loretta, 23, Daniel, 22, Roxanne, 21, Shikera, 18 and Shane, 15.

One of their children, Shiola, died in 1996 when she was five days old. Their youngest daughter, Jessica, died before she was born, 13 years ago.

Terry was born on June 4 in 1958 in Cwmbran, Wales, the fifth of seven children. During his working life he helped build the Severn Bridge and a local cancer unit.

As a mark of respect, workmates in South Wales plan to down tools when his funeral his held.

Terry's eldest daughter Machala Evans said: "Dad was a simple man, who loved his work and his family.

"He really was a family man, who was very patient and relaxed with his children and grandchildren, but he did ask for respect and the children knew that.

"He was a brilliant grandfather - he probably knew the words to every Disney song! His grandchildren are missing him so badly."

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