A hotelier who held the honour of being Uppingham’s longest-serving licensee has died at the age of 70.
Ian Hackney ran The Garden Hotel with his wife Christine since 1990 having previously worked at The Falcon Hotel in the town.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October and was due to start treatment after returning from a holiday in America, but his health took a turn for the worse at the start of December and he was admitted to Rutland Memorial Hospital.
He died there on January 17.
Mrs Hackney has paid tribute to her husband.
She said: “Ian was very well known in the town. He was a happy, jovial man and very much a people person. He was always interested in other people and what they were doing.”
The couple met in 1967 while working at a hotel in Carlisle. They married in 1969 and had three children Sarah, 40, James, 38, and Tom, 27.
They worked at hotels across the country, moving 18 times in 20 years, before finally settling in Uppingham.
They ran The Falcon Hotel from 1982 until 1988 and then took over The Garden Hotel in 1990. The family also ran a bistro and chip shop for a while.
Mrs Hackney, 65, said: “It was the first time we ever put down roots. The children were at an important stage of their school life and unfortunately our daughter was involved in a serious car accident so we had to focus on her recovery.
“Ian decided he wanted to stay in Uppingham. He loved the town and went on to be the longest serving licensee.
“The hotel and the Masons were his life.”
A memorial service for Ian will take place on Saturday, February 8, at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Uppingham, at midday. A collection will be made for the Rutland ward at Rutland Memorial Hospital.
Mrs Hackney is continuing to run a bed and breakfast service at the hotel in High Street West with the help of her youngest son.