Alan Stace, who was mayor from 1981 to 1983 and a Conservative borough councillor, passed away at St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne, aged 82.
He ran businesses in Hastings for many years, starting off with a sweet shop in George Street, and later founded Stace & Co estate agents.
Paying tribute, Alan’s son, Richmond, said: “As a dad, my memories are of a calm, thoughtful man who liked to tell a story and have a joke. He mellowed over the years and was always there when needed.
“He was a good listener and optimistic that things would turn out well. Dad was interested in what you were doing and that you were OK.
“He was very generous in his thinking and his actions, and rarely judgemental. This seems to be reflected in the words of old friends. As if often the way, you realise a positive influence when they have passed on. But for that, I am grateful.”
Alan’s daughter, Charlotte Moffat, said: “Dad was a genuine, hard-working, grateful and very generous human being who contributed to life in a big way making it a better place for others, particularly for the town of Hastings and always with a smile on his face.”
Alan attended Hastings Grammar School and left aged 15.
He was a keen sportsman, playing football, as well as cricket for Hastings Priory Cricket Club, and was a member of East Sussex Ramblers.
Alan was a member of Hastings Round Table, eventually becoming its chairman. He was very active in charity work and organised the Hastings Carnival and Beer Festival.
After selling Stace & Co, Alan took up a position as the estate surveyor for the Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement in Eastbourne.
He was also chairman of the Hastleons Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society from 1986 to 1992.
Friend Mike Barrell said: “Alan was an excellent mayor and Round Table member, who was responsible for bringing the Red Arrows to the town on many occasions for the Hastings Round Table Carnival. He will be sadly missed.”
Adrian Barnett described Alan as a ‘big name from the history of Hastings’.
And Roger Bramley said the former mayor was a ‘great character who led a full and eventful life’.
Bernard Simon said: “Alan was not only a great friend but a ‘man of the people’ as past mayor of Hastings, past chairman of Hastings Round Table and past chairman of the Hastleons. Rest in Peace Alan, you will be greatly missed.”
Liz Miller, Hastleons production and membership secretary, said: “Alan was a very active member within the society for many years, taking part in numerous musicals. He produced Brigadoon in the Hastleons’ 70th year and also Cabaret.”
Alan’s son Richmond is planning to run the South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne, starting on September 4, in memory of his father and in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
On his JustGiving page, Richmond said: “During the short time he was there, he was well cared for in a respectful and dignified way. As relatives, my sister and I, together with our partners were also looked after by the nursing team. The work at St Wilfrid’s makes an enormous difference to people’s lives. It is invaluable.”
The fundraising page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richmond-stace11.
Alan is survived by his daughter Charlotte, his son Richmond, and his grandchildren Lucy, Sam, Henry, Rosie, William and Poppy.