Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a well-known businessman and former rugby club president. 

The family of Keith Jary have hailed "one of the good guys" after the highly regarded, successful entrepreneur died last week.

After a "long, brave battle" with metastatic melanoma, Mr Jary, 79, died peacefully at his home on October 3 surrounded by his immediate family.

His heartbroken family said that with wife Neilma, the couple had run several businesses in Gorleston, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft where they've been "popular figures for many years."

Son Matt Jary said: "His strand of the Jary family were butchers, and he followed his father Ernest and brother John into the family trade.

"He left the Alderman Leech School - now East Norfolk Sixth Form College - aged 14 in 1959 and at 18 bought his first shop in High Road, Gorleston for the princely sum of £11 along with a loan of some meat from his father."

After going on to become a member of the Guild of Master Butchers, Mr Jary went on to own several shops in the area before "diversifying in the 1990s" into other retail, leisure and property ventures. 

Matt Jary said: "The last of his old butcher's shops - Keiths in Gorleston High Street - is run by his former managers and remains a local legend for their fresh hot lunch rolls and friendly welcome."

As a successful entrepreneur and a master butcher, over the years - among other notable positions and achievements he held - Mr Jary was also chair of Gorleston Chamber of Trade, chair of Waveney Harriers Supporters Club, chair of Lowestoft Round Table, president of Lowestoft & Yarmouth Rugby Club and and East Anglian Show Jumping champion.

Matt Jary said: "He lived a great life full of love and laughter, friends and family.

"Above all, he was one of the good guys.

"The melanoma spread to his brain before Christmas 2022 and, despite his continued treatment, he succumbed to an aggressive tumour.

"After a four year, typically brave battle with metastatic melanoma he left peacefully and quietly at home surrounded by Neilma and immediate family."


Paying tribute on its Facebook page, Lowestoft and Yarmouth RUFC said: "It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that we have lost yet another Lowestoft & Yarmouth RUFC legend, Mr Keith Jary.

"Keith was once L&Y's president - a forward thinking, sharp businessman who will be missed by all who knew him."

A thanksgiving funeral service will be held at Blundeston Church of St Mary the Virgin on Church Road on Monday, October 23 at 10.45am, ahead of a family only private committal at Gorleston Crematorium.

Guests are invited to Gorleston Golf Club from noon to "share some stories, a drink and some nibbles in Keith's honour."

With family flowers only accepted donations can be made for the Palliative Care team at St Elizabeth Hospice.

Cash donations accepted on the day or online via https://keithjary.muchloved.com