The family of a popular music store owner in Boston has paid tribute to his memory following his sudden death, aged 50.
Gareth Skinner, of Nevermind the Music Store, in Church Street, died from a heart attack last Monday.
It came ‘completely out of the blue’, has family have said, with Gareth having no associated health problems.
The tragic news was shared later that day on the business’ Facebook page, prompting a flood of sympathy.
At the time of writing, the post has been shared 300 times and had 370 comments; in Church Street, meanwhile, well-wishers have been leaving flowers and cards at the store or at neighbouring businesses.
Speaking to the Standard this week, the family said: “Gareth was a fantastic father, generous grandfather, doting husband, and a friend to many. He would strike up a conversation with pretty much anyone and everyone. He always cracked a joke (mainly bad ones) and truly enjoyed his family time.
“Our hearts have been ripped out. We are truly devastated, but have been overwhelmed by the support from everyone. So many kind words, cards, flowers and helping hands.”
Gareth, who is survived by wife Lillian, children Natalie, Craig, Millie, Lily, and Emily, and grandson Luke, hailed from Sunderland.
He came to Boston in 2001, opening the store in the same year.
“He lived for his family and his job,” his family continued. “He went up against the giants (thou shalt not be named) in business and came out winning. He stood tall after the mighty flood. And through all this, he would attribute the success of the store to all his loyal customers.
“Over the 17 years he has seen people grow from primary school to married with a career. He had a remarkable memory and would remember what music you liked and introduce you to more.
“Even people that had moved away and returned for a visit he would remember. He loved to share his stories and theories.
“There are so many customers that are friends and more than a few that are like family.”
The family say that as a result of this connection with his customers, they are having an open funeral at Boston Crematorium on Thursday, November 1, at 3.30pm.
The dress code is band t-shirt. It will be followed by a wake at the Britannia pub in Church Street, Boston.