HUNDREDS packed St Mary’s Church in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday to celebrate the life of Leslie Glasswell.
The co-founder of home furnishings company Glasswells died peacefully at his home on November 26, aged 88.
Leslie Glasswell set up the first branch of the family business with his father Jerry in 1946.
Since then, the company has expanded with a series of stores including the largest home furnishings store in the East of England.
The company, of which Mr Glasswell was chairman, now employs more than 260 people.
During the service, attended by 386 people, his son Paul spoke of how his father was always ‘ahead of the curve’ with the business, realising the potential of warehousing to speed up logistics well before other businessmen caught on.
He spoke of his enormous love of golf and competitive sport and the active role he played in both the Round Table and Rotary charity fund-raising.
He said: “He was a fearsome competitor and always put 100 per cent into everything he did.
“He was also a very social man and loved talking with people.
“In 88 years he achieved a great deal and the memories we can look back on we will always cherish.”
Business partner Vic Brega, with whom Mr Glasswell launched the Kingsbury Warehouse chain, said: “I could feel sad but I promised myself I wouldn’t today.
“It has been a privilege knowing Leslie and all the pleasure he has given people. Leslie, you are going to be missed by me, my family, your family and all your friends here today.”
After the service, Paul said the family had been touched by how many people had showed up to pay their respects.
He said: “He was very special person, a kind and generous man. Being a Bury man he of know a lot of people in the town, both through the business and socially.
“My mother and the whole family have been completely overwhelmed by the number of people who have turned up today.
“My mother has received hundreds of letters of support, each one of them echoing what we have heard about my father today.
“He was very well loved in Bury and that is reflected in the number of people who have attended. It is nice for our family to see that our loved one has left a mark on so many people.”