The family of prominent Melton businessman Stephen Haines paid tribute to him this week following his sudden death last month.
Mr Haines, who was 63, started S&J Haulage with wife, Jane, in 1980, with just a single van and today the Asfordby Business Park company has a fleet of 40 vehicles and employs around 80 people.
Mrs Haines, who will continue to run the firm with son, Matthew (35), and 32-year-old daughter, Sarah, told the Melton Times: “Steve was a businessman but he was very much a family man too.
“He never really thought he had achieved much because he was modest but he had achieved a lot in his life.
“He was a very kind and thoughtful man and we miss him so much.”
Mr Haines lived all his life in the Melton area, spending some of his childhood at Thorpe Satchville, and then moving with his family to the town, where he was educated at the old Sarson School. He left school aged 15 and got a job at Holwell Works.
Mrs Haines met her husband at The Palais dance hall in Leicester in 1973 and four years later they were married.
They built up S&J Haulage over nearly 40 years.
“It was Steve’s idea,” said Mrs Haines. “His father used to drive a lorry for Petfoods and it came from that. We’ve had an unbelieveable number of messages and cards from our employees, from customers and friends since we lost him.”
Aside from his family, one of his biggest passions was Leicester City FC, who he enjoyed cheering to their Premier League title victory in 2016.
Mr Haines doted on his grandchildren, Madison (4) and 11-month-old Harrison, and was also a keen golfer at the Melton Mowbray club.
He passed away at home on March 21 and a funeral service will be held at Loughborough Crematorium at 10am, on Saturday April 13.
Donations will be taken for the British Heart Foundation.