FATHER-of-three Didier Chupeau, 56, of Derby Road, Caergwrle, died after a crash on the A55 near Northop on Thursday.
He has been movingly described as “one of the kindest and most generous people” anyone could meet.
Mr Chupeau was a former landlord of The Red Lion in Hope. He also became known in the region as a talented musician who played in the City of Chester Brass Band. He worked for the Royal Mail in Chester.
Originally from Picardy in France, Mr Chupeau had lived in Britain for much of his life and had spent the past 16 years in the Hope and Caergwrle area.
He was well-known for his humorous nature and was very popular when he ran The Red Lion.
Speaking over the weekend, a family spokesman said: “Didier had a wicked sense of humour which manifested itself with a liberal use of earthy language accompanied by his infectious and singular laugh.
“It was impossible to be offended by his asides and jokes since he was one of the kindest and most generous people one could ever wish to meet and play with.
“He knew what it meant to be part of a team.”
The spokesman added: “The sudden nature of his death and his immense popularity leaves his family in France and England, his friends and his colleagues in the brass band world, absolutely devastated.
“Our thoughts go out to his brother and sisters in France, his children, his grandchildren and partner Nerys.”
Mr Chupeau was a passionate musician who played the cornet and trombone. He was a member of the City of Chester Brass Band.
Despite his good nature, Mr Chupeau took his music seriously and he was a sought after deputy with other bands.
He took part in the Mereside Brass trip to Germany last year.
Although Mr Chupeau maintained he lived in Britain because he did not like the French, his national allegiances to France were clear when ‘Les Bleus’ played rugby union in the Six Nations.
He was also a keen angler who enjoyed fishing for bream off the coast of North Wales.
Mr Chupeau was a frequent visitor to Clwyd Theatr Cymru, where his partner Nerys Jones worked. He previously worked in the restaurant business and was a well-regarded food expert.
His death has stunned his community.
Steve Griffiths, of Alyn Carpets on Caergwrle High Street, was a friend.
“It’s a terrible shock,” he said.
“Didier was a character. When you were with him it was a laugh a minute time. He was a friend to a lot of people.”
Alan Parsonage, 52, who lives near the Red Lion, said: “He was a nice man and a good cook. I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him.”
In a statement on Facebook, The Red Lion informed customers of his death and said he was a “top fella who will be greatly missed by all who knew him”.
Mr Chupeau leaves a large family including children Andrew, Carolyn and Ben, three young grandchildren and many relatives in France including his brother and two sisters.
No funeral details have so far been announced.
l Witnesses should call the Roads Policing Unit in Deeside on 101.