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Tributes paid to the landlord at the Green Man in Rackheath, who has died

Derek Jennings was landlord at the Green Man.

Derek Jennings was landlord at the Green Man.

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Tributes have been paid to a popular Norfolk landlord and father-of-three, who has died aged 58.

Derek Jennings lived in Wroxham and was the owner of the Green Man pub in Wroxham Road, Rackheath, for 15 years.

He was in the process of selling the leasehold at the pub when he died at home surrounded by his family on May 18.

Mr Jennings’ brother, Father David Jennings, will conduct the funeral service at St Mary’s Church in Wroxham at 11am tomorrow.

Mr Jennings’ wife Barbara, 61, has paid tribute to him, describing him as a “marvellous character”.

She said: “He had a massive sense of humour and was an extremely enthusiastic person. He threw himself into everything with great enthusiasm.

“He really liked his food and he was very knowledgeable about food and drink.

“The Green Man held jazz evenings every Tuesday and we gave them the money towards that. It was a joke in the family that Derek was tone deaf.

“Life will be very quiet without him, as he had a very large presence.

“We have been overwhelmed by the number of condolence cards we have received.”

The family said that Mr Jennings had many hobbies including clay pigeon shooting, gardening and skiing.

Mrs Jennings, who is a clarinet teacher, said: “He was an avid skier and went with one of our daughters skiing in February, when he did not appear to be remotely ill. He loved sailing on the Norfolk Broads and was a keen competitor in races for many years.”

She said her husband only fell ill in early April and he died from malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

Mr Jennings was born in Dublin and came to live in Norwich with his mother when he was just two years old.

After he left St Thomas More Secondary Modern RC School in Jessop Road, Norwich, he was apprenticed to John Youngs and worked briefly for a construction company before becoming a developer on his own account.

He ran the Grange pub at Ormesby for about four years before taking on the Green Man.

He was a member of Norwich Inns, the pub buying group, and went on many enjoyable wine-testing trips with them.

He also was a member of Wroxham and District round table for a number of years.

He leaves behind three children Sarah, Chris and April, his wife, twin brothers David and Dermot, and his mother, who lives in Canada.

Would you like to play tribute to a loved one in the paper? Ring David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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