Tributes paid to head of Shoreham family business R & D Goatley

The head of a Shoreham family business has died, days before his 70th birthday and just a few weeks before his golden wedding.

Russell Goatley is remembered as a hard-working family man, honest, funny and driven, and known for his traditional values and generosity.

His four sons, Jason, Jamie, Simon and Jordan, say the family double glazing business, R & D Goatley, all began with a love story, combined with a bit of a ‘Del Boy and Rodney’ start up, as Russell himself described it.

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Russell and Ann were together for 52 years and would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May. He died of bone marrow cancer on March 4, at the age of 69, just days before his birthday on Sunday.

Russell and Ann Goatley were together for 52 years and would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May

At first, Russell, his dad Dennis and his grandfather were making stainless steel and copper doorstops in Shoreham

When Russell and Ann were expecting their first baby, the couple moved to Bournemouth for a few years and he started working with a firm doing double glazing. Russell showed his ‘true hard graft’ by immediately winning salesman of the month and a crystal decanter, which the family still has to this day.

The family then returned to the Shoreham area and Russell and Dennis set up their own double glazing company, one of the first in the town, in 1974. They had two other installers, one of which, Alan Jarvis, remained with the company until he retired two years ago.

R & D Goatley started in the early days of aluminium systems into hardwood frames and when PVCu was introduced in the late 1970s, they went from strength to strength.

R & D Goatley was based at 73 High Street, Shoreham, for more than 30 years

The business operated in Shoreham High Street for more than 30 years and built up a good reputation. Throughout the 1990s, sons Jason, Simon and Jordan joined the business, and Dennis retired.

In 2004, R & D Goatley moved to larger premises in Portslade, fronting the A259 coast road.

Jason, Simon and Jordan said Russell always instilled in them the same ethics that he believed made the business a success, and they will continue to offer the same level of service.

Ann has always been there in the background, supplying endless love and supporting her husband and sons throughout their working life.

R & D Goatley moved to larger premises in Fishersgate, fronting the A259 coast road, in 2004

The couple regularly gave help to local charities, and anyone who came into their path who needed it, whether a friend of the family, or a complete stranger, it would not matter.

Russell’s sons said their dad had ‘a twinkle in his eye’ and they want to continue his legacy with the same qualities he always showed them - generosity, loyalty, compassion and drive.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the funeral at St Mary’s Church in Shoreham on Friday, April 9, will be private but the family will be taking Russell on his last journey past the shop, now Restore beauty salon, at 12.15pm and ask people on the High Street to pay their respects then.