Tributes to Rotarian and businessman

Keith Thompson
Keith Thompson

THE sudden death of a local businessman, entrepreneur, active Rotarian and devoted family man Keith Thompson has shocked the Garstang community.

Keith was a Geordie, born in Tynemouth in 1940. A man who was always in the thick of it and getting his hands dirty, he loved the countryside and animals and worked for two years on a large mixed farm in Yorkshire before starting college.

His specialist knowledge developed at college, and in his first jobs in the grain and feed industry, and in 1991, after seeing the potential of developing into the grain and animal feed market, he started his own company, Dawngreen, in Garstang with his daughter, Anne.

He was chairman of the Management Committee of Garstang Scout and Guide building for over 20 years and was a member of Rotary for 19 years, serving as president in 2000.

As a skilled home-made wine producer and knowledgeable on commercially sold wine as well, Keith joined Garstang Wine Circle in 1980 and was a committee member for over 20 years and president for nine of those.

He was very keen on developing the skills and confidence of the next generation and spent time at Garstang High School, helping students there to develop their interview skills and techniques.

In 2004 he completed the Dales Way, an 84-mile walk from Ilkley to Ingleton, to raise money for Rotary charities.

At his funeral at St Thomas’ Church last Friday, Canon Ron Greenall, who gave the address, developed these aspects of his life, adding that “his skills were vast, his knowledge was expert and his personality always charming and considerate.’’

He leaves his mother, Doris, his wife, Faith, and daughters Helen and Anne and their families. Anne will continue to manage the Dawngreen business.