‘True gentleman’ and Stevenage charity volunteer Alan Maynard dies aged 90

Alan Maynard was best man for his grandson Callum last year. The 90-year-old passed away last month.

Alan Maynard was best man for his grandson Callum last year. The 90-year-old passed away last month. Picture: Courtesy of Rob Stewart - Credit: Archant

Stevenage and Letchworth community stalwart and “true gentleman” Alan Maynard has sadly died, aged 90.

As well as being a long-time advocate and volunteer for the Stevenage Community Trust, charity Uniqueness and Garden House Hospice Care, Alan was also the values director for family business, Stevenage Packaging Ltd (SPL).

In his youth Alan loved cycling, carried out his National Service in the RAF, and met his wife Irene working at de Havilland. The couple were married for 67 years.

Alan became the manager of the first self-service supermarket in the country, Express Dairies, by the age of 22. Later in his career he went on to be national sales manager at General Foods and sales director of VG Stores before retiring to focus on his volunteering roles.

Alan’s son in law, and SPL founder, Rob Stewart said: “I was so fortunate, honoured and privileged to have had such a guiding light for the last 35 years. Alan encouraged and motivated me from when I was 20 to aspire in life and in business, while helping others to succeed and to dedicate time to the community.

“He served as the UK’s only values director with sincerity and honesty, refusing to compromise his neutrality, hence he worked for us all without compensation.

“There was never room for hollow mission statements or slogans that were not genuinely ingrained in the team Alan helped build. Yes, he will rightly be remembered as a true gentlemen by many, however Alan’s legacy in our family business is that he has shaped Stevenage Packaging with a team aspiring to uphold his impeccable high ethical and moral standards.

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“Alan has left us with impenetrable foundations and an indelible footprint.”

Every year throughout the 90s and 00s, Alan would walk the town centre rattling the charity tin for Stevenage Community Trust. He also volunteered at Garden House Hospice Care for over a decade.

Daughters Hilary and Sally stayed with him for 40-plus hours at the hospice before his death.

Alan’s grandson Callum asked his grandad to be his best man at his wedding to Emma, “because he was the best of men”.

Stevenage Packaging Ltd chairman Eric Peacock added: “Alan was our Angel, and as such wanted no fuss about his passing, was completely content, smiling, laughing and entirely at peace throughout his last weeks – his faith was unquestionable.”

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