Dave Stafford passed away peacefully on the 26th March 2015 at the age of 71, with his family by his side. Dave fought a brave fight against kidney cancer over the last 15 months, yet his death was mercifully quick.
Dave opened the garden centre in 1971, a rare concept back then as most of the early centres developed from market gardens and similar business. Together with his then wife Beryl, it quickly grew and developed into thriving business.
In 1988 Dave used his earlier building trade experience in a significant £2 million rebuild of the centre. Coming from outside the industry was never seen by him as a disadvantage; quite the opposite, as he pioneered the store into new categories such as Christmas, leisure and gift products.
A former Chairman of the Garden Centre Association, Dave was a passionate supporter of the trade body and his colleagues in the trade. Dave regularly supported the association at the regional, national and international level. Indeed the opportunity to join his colleagues from around the world at their annual congress was a highlight in his year.
His famous straight talking 'Northern Bloke' and tough but fair persona, along with his approach to life and business won him the respect of colleagues, suppliers and staff throughout his career and leadership of All-In-One Garden Centre.
Dave retired from daily duties in the business in 2008 but remained as chairman of the board. Together with his wife Sue, they choose North Wales as his final home where he loved spending time with family and his two loyal dogs. Although his time retired was relatively brief, David lived life to the full and lead what he described as a 'privileged life'.
A humble man taken too soon, sadly missed but fondly remembered.
Dave's funeral will be held at Rochdale Crematorium on Tuesday 7th April 2015 at 1.40pm. Immediate family flowers only please, however if desired donations would be gratefully recieved and split between Dave's chosen charities - St David's Hospice And Save The Children.
If you planning to attend the funeral, The Stafford family would be grateful if you could let them know in advance by either email: email@example.com or telephone: 01706 711711.
Dave was famous for his love of bright coloured stripes. Please feel free to wear stripes on the day.