Emotional tributes have been paid to Mick Geaves, owner of M&J News in East Street, who has passed away.
Mick died following a short battle with cancer aged 64 on Thursday, September 19.
His wife Jane spoke to The District Post and remembered when she first met him.
“We were both Catholic and he was an altar boy, we met through the church.
“We lived in Rainham in Kent and we had always wanted our own business. We had three daughters and we thought it was a good time to do it. The place in Horsham was actually the last place we looked at. The time was right and we were able to do it.”
Mick and Jane married in 1972 and they later purchased the property and opened the business in 1990. Jane said: “He dealt with all the papers and magazines and the paper rounds. We built it up over the years, and the paper boys think the world of him. He was well liked and a character.
“He was a good husband and a brilliant father and our three daughters, Laura, Tracey, and Karen loved him. He was always a joker and would always say the same jokes many times over.”
Mick was diagnosed with lung cancer six weeks ago and was given nine months to live, but his health very quickly deteriorated.
Jane said: “We were devastated by it. It was such a shock. The support I’ve had since he got ill has been amazing, everyone has been wonderful and so kind and thoughtful.”
Local businessman Michael Frater did his first paper round for M&J News when he was young. He said: “I’ve known Mick and Jane for a number of years and I did my first round there when I was 13. My deepest sympathies are with the family. They have always been very supportive of me and my businesses.”
After work Mick was often in Ye Olde Stout House in the Carfax. Landlord Barry McGahan said: “He was one of the nicest people you’d wish to meet. He used to tell awful jokes and he used to repeat them to everyone. He was a generous man and would do anything for anybody. I don’t know anybody who would say a bad word about him.
“We run a football quiz for friends and regulars and we have a trophy that he won in 2005, because of
who he is, he was known as the people’s champion.”
Mick’s close friend Richard Cornell told The District Post: “I have known him since he moved to Horsham as my children were deliverers. Then soon we would meet up after work every day for a drink.
“He worked terribly hard being a newsagent and he never had a day off, only Christmas day. He used to laugh and joke with all his customers, he was always very generous and would never say a bad word about anyone.
“He thought the world of his family and his daughters, and he had a grandson a year ago. His ambition was to take him to see his favourite team Tottenham, when he grew up.
“As a town and a community we were very lucky to have him and he was a great asset to the community.”
The funeral will take place on Wednesday, October 2, at midday at St John’s Church, Springfield road.