TRIBUTES have been paid to popular Garstang businessman John White, whose funeral was due to be held at St Thomas’s Church, Garstang, this morning.
Mr White, who died last month aged 71, was widely respected in the town and liked by customers for his friendly, approachable and jovial manner.
He was born into a shoe manufacturing family in Leicester and worked in the business, moving to Lancashire 45 years ago.
Along with his wife, Patsy, he had lived in Padiham, Chipping and Hurst Green and Clitheroe before moving to Thurnham eight years ago.
With the decline of shoe manufacturing in the UK the couple decided, 12 years ago, to move into shoe and clothes retailing, opening their business in Market Place, Garstang.
It was a move which more than paid off.
The business is one of the most popular in town due to the enterprise of Mr White and his family.
The shop is also known for its contributions to Garstang in Bloom, taking the top small business award in the summer 2005 contest.
A keen family man, Mr White enjoyed history, poetry, religious issues, classic cars and debating. He would often recommend books he had read and was particularly knowledgeable about The Tudors. He was also a skilled table tennis player.
He was positive in his outlook on local matters, but a regular critic of over zealous traffic wardens.
As the father of four girls, he joked about being surrounded by too many women. He would often lament that not only were the four dogs all female - but even the horses were geldings!
He often recounted that a Chipping farmer, having heard that he had four daughters, had said, “By eck, you’d have been worth a fortune as a bull!”
Many friends in Garstang and district were expected to attend his funeral at St Thomas’s today.
Mr White leaves a widow, Patsy, four daughters and 11 grandchildren.