TRIBUTES have been paid to a man who dedicated his life to his family's furnishing firm – working in the Portsmouth store all the way up to his 90s.
Patrick Marriott, who ran Marriotts Furnishers, in New Road, North End, died at home on Friday aged 91 following a short illness.
Patrick, who also lived above the shop, was one of the city’s oldest shopkeepers, having worked at the furnishing store on and off all his life. He was even born in the same building in 1927.
Mark McCullough, from the firm, said: ‘Patrick dedicated his life to his work. Even when he officially retired he was back in the shop. He was great, a real inspiration and he was always upbeat and full of wisdom. He was witty and funny, always telling jokes. He had a great personality and he was a very generous and kind man.’
The shop was set up by Patrick’s parents Ted and Margaret, who married in 1926 and moved into their first home, 97 New Road.
Not only was it their home, but later that year it became a retail furniture shop specialising in re-covering. A shed in the back garden was a workshop so Ted could do his cabinet-making there.
Margaret did the sewing, looked after the finances and brought up their twin sons, Patrick and Peter, and daughter Sheila.
During the Second World War, with the family living in south Wales, the premises were converted into an air raid wardens’ post.
The Marriotts returned post-war and the business grew. First 99 New Road was acquired and gradually other terraced houses either side were added to the portfolio until it spread to its current address – 91-103 New Road.
Patrick resumed full-time work in 2014 after the death of his wife Rhoda, for whom he had cared for 20 years at their Hayling Island home.
He began work at the family firm in 1948 when he was demobbed from National Service with the RAF.
Patrick, a great-grandfather, leaves behind two sons David and Ken, and daughter Liz. Liz will continue to run the furnishing business.
David, 55, said: ‘The shop came first. His life was the shop. He did lots of lovely things. He would do anything for anybody. He was so kind and generous. He would do anyone a good turn. He was a very kind-natured man and I never heard him shout in my whole life. He had a good soul.’
His funeral will take place at Havant Crematorium on May 28 at 10.45am, with a wake in the shop afterwards.