Family pay tribute to Stevenage shop owner on anniversary of his death
- Credit: Archant
TRIBUTES have been paid to the owner of a family business who “touched the hearts of everyone he met” on the first anniversary of his death.
The family of Champaklal Kotecha, who ran the Home Improvement Centre in Stevenage for two decades, has been remembering the 81-year-old who died following a heart attack on June 8 last year.
Mr Kotecha, known to many as ‘Dada’, started working in the hardware store at The Glebe in 1992, having set up the family business together with a shop in Welwyn GC a decade earlier.
During his 20 years at the Home Improvement Centre off Chells Way, he worked seven days a week and rarely took time off until his sudden death.
A year on, the Kotecha family has raised £2,000 for the British Heart Foundation in his memory with the help of customers and friends.
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“There’s still people in the town coming into the shop who haven’t heard about his death and when they do they are really taken aback as he was quite well,” said Mr Kotecha’s son Kamlesh, speaking on behalf of the family.
“Dada was loved by all and touched the hearts of everyone he met, he loved people and people loved him. He loved seeing his customers and talking to them, and gave sweets to everyone that came to the shop. He loved kids and treated them all like his grandchildren.
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“We just want to keep the shop going in remembrance of my dad. He worked in the shop seven days a week and I think that kept him alive, it was the love of his life.
“Dada is and always will be truly missed and loved by not only his family and friends, but by many of the local residents and customers at the Home Improvement Centre. I’d like to say thank you for all the support the local people have given over all these years. The last year has been very difficult but we’ve had an amazing amount of contributions and people have been very kind.”
For those wishing to make a donation to the British Heart Foundation in memory of Mr Kotecha, visit the store where a collection box is kept or log on to https://lastinghope.bhf.org.uk/champaklalkotecha