Peter Longland, the chairman of one of the most prestigious furniture firms in the West Midlands, has died, aged 78.
Mr Longland was made a director of Lee Longlands, a furniture shop his grandfather George founded with a friend, in 1951 as soon as he had trained as a furniture designer in London. He was appointed chairman in 1994.
His skills as a businessman helped the company to thrive and expand from one shop on Broad Street, in Birmingham, to five stores as far afield as Somerset and Gloucestershire.
He loved everything about furniture, from the trees themselves - his favourite charity was The Woodland Trust - to browsing through catalogues of tables and chairs from Scandinavia.
But his job was only one of his passions. He also enjoyed racing rally cars for the MG Car Club in Belbroughton, where he met his wife Sheila, as well as modestly helping those in need.
His wife was astonished when the Royal British Legion in Belbroughton, where the couple lived, telephoned to ask whether its flag could be placed on Mr Longland's grave in recognition of his dedication to the charity.
Mrs Longland had had no idea how much work her husband had anonymously done for others.
She said: "Peter will be remembered as a quiet gentleman with a dry sense of humour. He had a lovely manner and always helped others without making any noise about it.
"He loved foreign travel and every time we visited our daughter in Australia, Peter insisted we went a different way. Just before he died he said to me 'we have done it all'. He managed to be a family man, a businessman and a community man, as chairman of the local Probus Club, British Legion and History Society."
Margaret Lee, who worked with Mr Longland for 35 years, said customers and colleagues admired his patience and genuine interest in furniture.
Mrs Lee, whose grandfather Robert set up the company with Mr Longland's grandfather in 1901, said: "He was a very good friend as well as a colleague.
"He was an excellent example of a good businessman. He was always fair and courteous to staff and customers. He will be so sorely missed."
Mr Longland, a former pupil of Hallfield Preparatory School and Bromsgrove School, died after a two-year battle with cancer at his home last Thursday.
He is survived by his wife Sheila, his daughters Sarah and Anna, and grandchildren Mitchell, Ella and Hope.
His funeral will be held at the Holy Trinity Church in Belbroughton tomorrow at 2pm.