AN ISLANDER who was the sales manager at Wight Building Materials (WBM) for 30 years, has died at the age of 56.

David Crouch, described by his colleagues as ‘an inspiration to all who met him’ passed away peacefully at his Newport home having lived with pancreatic cancer for two years.

One of four children, he was born at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport.

He spent his early life in Lake attending Gatten and Lake Primary and then Sandown Middle School, but after moving with his family to Newport he finished his schooling at Carisbrooke High School.

His first job was making lampshades in the Readers’ factory in Cowes, but his career really began when he joined Pioneer Aggregates in 1987.

Starting as an office clerk, David moved outside to work as a batcher filling the lorries with ready-mix concrete.

He then went to work at Bardon Vectis, now Wight Building Materials, and rose through the ranks becoming sales manager on the concrete side of the business.

David, with a trademark smile, would often turn up to sites bearing gifts of ice creams, doughnuts or takeaway chicken.

WBM general manager, Steve Burton, said: “David had a wonderful style of management and would do whatever was needed to get the task done – he was a team player who loved his job

David was both loved and greatly respected by all of us here and by our customers.

"He was an inspiration to so many people both inside and outside of work and simply one of life’s nice guys.

“Wherever he was, David enriched the life of all who met him. His positive attitude inside and outside of work will always be an inspiration to us.”

David, typically, threw all his enthusiasm into Wight Building Materials’ annual charity golf day which will now be named after him.

A talented table tennis player, he also loved cooking and was an enthusiastic barbecue host. Unassuming but outgoing, he loved to socialise, gaining a reputation as the life and soul of any party.

He met wife Karyn at Chicago Rock in Newport and they soon became inseparable, David supporting his wife through her degree in social work.

The pair loved foreign travel and were married on a visit to Sri Lanka in 2004, with a befriended local couple and their children serving as witnesses and bridesmaids, along with a native elephant who was matron of honour!

Such was David’s generosity and determination to do the right thing that, on one trip to Kenya, he bought a new bike for the son of their room attendant and on another visit he purchased a trolley full of Christmas goods for two local families he had met.

A celebration of David’s life was held at the IW Crematorium on July 2.