Obituary: Businessman who loved 'wheeling and dealing' dies at 94

Ronald Marrison

Ronald Marrison, formerly of Attleborough, died in Cromer at the age of 96. - Credit: Courtesy of Sue Howes

He opened businesses across Norfolk and lived life to the full, and now Ronald Walter Marrison has died at the age of 94.

Mr Marrison, who ran shops in Attleborough and later retired to the north Norfolk coast, died in Cromer on June 28.

His funeral took place at Cromer Church on July 21.

Grandson Paul, who read out a eulogy written by Mr Marrison's daughter Sue Howes, said: "First and foremost he was a family man. Husband to Glad for 62 years, a wonderful dad, grandad to my sister (Anna) and I, and a great-grandad to Ellie, Josh and Xander.

"He loved watching us - when my sister and I were young - competing at tennis. Most weekends he could be seen on the sidelines, always supporting us.

"He also travelled to London on his 89th birthday to watch Anna run the London Marathon in memory of our nanny - and he was so very proud."

Paul said his granddad loved to "wheel and deal", buying up job lots of items he thought had potential before selling them on.

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He said: "Mum especially remembers the shoes. He filled our double garage from floor to ceiling with them and then went off to Florida for three months leaving mum to sell them.

"He would never miss a chance to make a 'quick buck', as he would say."

Mr Marrison was born in April 1928 in Norwich.

After leaving school at 14-years-old he signed up as an apprentice electrician, but this was interrupted in 1946 when he went to east Asia as a wireless operator for the RAF.

Ronald Marrison holding a glass of beer

Ronlad Marrison had endless energy and lived life to the full, opening various businesses around Norfolk. - Credit: Courtesy of Sue Howes

In 1950 he finished his apprenticeship and then volunteered Royal Navy reservist.

One year later he got a job as assistant maintenance engineer at the Gaymer's Cider factory in Attleborough.

It was around this time he met his future wife, Glad, at the Sampson and Hercules in Norwich.

They married three years later and lived in lodgings in Bawburgh before moving to Cyprus Road in Attleborough.

In 1956 Sue was born and the family moved to a bungalow on Hargham Road.

Mr Marrison started his first business in 1965, in partnership with Glad, in a railway carriage on the Gaymer's factory site.

He went on to start several companies and to build and rent out industrial units on two sites in Attleborough.

Ronald Marrison

Ronald Marrison died at the age of 96 in Cromer. - Credit: Courtesy of Sue Howes

In 1968 he formed R and G Marrison Television and in 1975 he opened Attleborough Discount Store and Attleborough Home Furnishings and CFE.

Marrison Electrical then moved from Station Road to New Road and they took on staff from Larkmans and joined forces to become Marrison Electrical and Grain Handling in 1989.

He later expanded the electrical contracting business to King's Lynn and Thetford.

In 2005 Marrison Electrical and the grain handing part of the business were spit up, and Marrison Agriculture was established by David Feakes in Hingham.

Ronald Marrison

Ronald Marrison, formerly of Attleborough and later of Cromer, on his 90th birthday. - Credit: Courtesy of Sue Howes

Mr Marrison loved family holidays, taking the grandchildren to Disneyworld and playing golf and tennis.

Paul said he was the kind of person who always saw the funny side of life and loved to make others laugh.

He said: "While still in Attleborough, grandad would often be seen on the tennis court with us all and also arranging barbecues and parties for everyone.

"His favourite party trick was being able to balance a spoon on his nose, or pretending he had got his thumb stuck in a cup handle.

"This sounds very silly, but after a few glasses of wine it was very funny."

Mr Marrison retired to Cromer 20 years ago.

At age 90 he was diagnosed with cancer, but recovered after a year while living at the town's RSL care home, Halsey House.

Ronald Marrison

Ronald Marrison he formed R and G Marrison Television in 1968 and in 1975 he opened Attleborough Discount Store and Attleborough Home Furnishings and CFE. - Credit: Courtesy of Sue Howes

At the age of 91 he was off travelling again, to Tenerife and Greece, with his partner Helen.