Andrew Connor lost his battle with lung cancer on Thursday, January 24, aged 46.
He ran Slicks snooker bar in Marine Parade, Worthing, for the last eight years.
His mother Linda Connor, 68, described him as ‘the best son you could have’: “He was so kind, generous and had a great sense of humour.”
His sister Clair Collins added: “We are so shocked by it all. We’re still numb.”
Born in East Dulwich, London, Andrew ran ten pubs in the capital before moving to Worthing to be near Linda and Clair.
Having worked at the bar in 1996 when he was living in Worthing in his twenties, he took it over when the former owners died and moved into a flat in the building.
He turned the nightclub on the second floor into Charlie’s sports bar – named after his daughter – opened the Sea House rooftop bar, and revamped The Empress Suite venue, hosting many weddings there.
He also managed The Silver Mackerel bar in Portland Road for a short time.
Linda said: “It was his life.”
Last year, Andrew went to the doctors with what he thought was asthma – but he was diagnosed with lung cancer in June.
As it had wrapped around the arteries in his heart doctors could not operate, and conventional treatments failed.
His brother Mark Connor, 49, said: "He had a good sense of humour about it. When he was diagnosed, he said to me 'What if I don't make the end of Game of Thrones?'
"He was my best man and my best friend."
After it spread to his brain and stomach, and he was told he had months to live, Andrew asked to go to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands for Christmas. He was joined by 18 friends and family members.
Mark said: “It was bittersweet; we all had a good time, but we knew it was his last Christmas.”
He went into St Barnabas House hospice in Titnore Lane, Worthing, on January 23, and died the next day.
Linda said the family had been inundated with messages, and thanked people for their support.
Andrew was captain of Hill Barn Golf Club when he died.
He also raised £5,000 for the Forward Facing charity, which provided days out for his nephews when his niece Alena Collins died in May 2016 aged 15 months from a rare genetic condition.
Clair, Alena’s mother, said: “It meant the world to me.”
He leaves behind Charlie, 10, who he called ‘his princess’, and several nieces and nephews. Clair also named her 4-month-old baby Drew after her brother.
Andrew's stepfather Bill Chapman, 83, described him as 'the best stepson any man could have'. He said: "I had 36 years of him, and you couldn't want for a better person."
The bar would stay open for the forseeable future, Linda said.
His funeral is still being planned.