The wife of a successful Bronington businessman and racehorse owner has said his death will leave a ‘big, big hole’ in her life.

Geoff Else, who lived in Conery Lane, Bronington, died last week after a short illness, leaving second wife Barbara, two sons Stephen and Christopher, and six grandchildren.

Barbara feels her husband – who fought to keep a farm activity centre from opening in the village last year – knew his time was up, and paid tribute to a man who made her proud to be married to.

“Geoff was always there for me – he was very protective and a lot of fun,” said Barbara, who was married to him for 20 years, and together for nearly double that time.

“He’s going to leave a big, big hole in my life but I’m holding on to the fact he was happy to go. Geoff was bed-ridden and because of the life he’s lived, that wasn’t for him.

“It was his time and he said he was ready to go.

“I’m proud to have been his wife and while cheesy to say, it was a privilege to make his end days as comfortable as possible.

“He didn’t have carers and it was nice he could be in his home environment.

“As a father, he was brilliant. He would say to his boys ‘go out and do your own thing’. But if they got into trouble, that’s where he would come in.

“He was great for advice – friends have said they remember him for it, as well as people to avoid and his bad jokes.”

He mainly worked in the paper industry all over the globe before selling his Ruabon-based business and retiring in 1997.

He moved to Whitchurch in 1984.

Barbara will remember a gambling man – he will be buried in his racing colours – and one who lived his life to the full.

“He used to go Las Vegas every year,” she added. 

“It gave him a thrill and he’s been a racehorse owner for about 25 years.

“He was a keen golfer – Oswestry Golf Club was his base. He used to play at Llangollen too, so people will know him there.

“He was a hobbyist as well – he was very good with his hands and a fantastic woodworker.

“Golf, fishing and gambling – he loved them and he lived a very full life, to the nth degree.”

Geoff’s funeral is on Wednesday, August 2 at 2pm at Holy Trinity Church in Bronington, where he will be interred.