AN entrepreneur who pioneered a golden age of home entertainment in South Cheshire has died.
Roy Townsend, who lived at Wybunbury Moss, died on his 77th birthday.
His son Terry Townsend said: 'He always said before he got ill that he would die on his birthday and go up in a rocket.'
His funeral took place yesterday (Tuesday) at St Mary's Church in Nantwich.
His wife of 57 years, Betty, 75, and four children are planning to use a rocket to scatter his ashes but said a memorable legacy will be left behind.
Mr Townsend's career spanned the era from the television boom in the 1950s to the invention of the CD in the 1990s.
He started his career in 1951 at Breeden and Middleton's, one of the most prominent TV businesses in Crewe.
Building a name for himself promoting TV and home entertainment, he became boss Frank Middleton's right hand man for almost 30 years.
Son Terry, 55, said: 'In 1951 TV was kicking off and he was a pioneer of that business in the area and nationally. He was known nationally by companies as a founding figure in the industry.'
In 1976 Mr Townsend opened a store in Victoria Road at Crewe and his empire soon expanded to nine independent stores and more concession outlets across the North West.
Terry said his father's success was due to the way he looked after staff. He added: 'He believed in the old fashioned values of treating people as you would want to be treated.
'The whole business was built around 'try it and if you like it buy it'.'
Mr Townsend had a generous nature, from organising football tournaments to contributing to Crewe Carnival and bringing celebrities such as Coronation Street's Elsie Tanner to the town.
Terry said: 'He was the kind of person who gave a donation under the condition that you didn't tell anyone he gave it. He wasn't like a lot of people who see charity as another form or publicity.'
The Roy Townsend company ceased trading two years ago when Mr Townsend was taken ill. He suffered a number of ailments and died at South Cheshire Private Hospital.