TRIBUTES have been paid to a family man who ran a taxi firm for more than 40 years following his death at the weekend.
Ron Gilbert, 79, who owned Gilberts Taxis, died at home in Ashfield Road on Saturday, April 28 after a year-long battle with lung cancer.
Born in Latimer Road, Ron married Barbara in 1954 at Great Missenden Church and the couple enjoyed 44 years of marriage.
The father of three opened Chesham’s first taxi service in 1948 before later establishing his own business, R P Gilbert, in 1956 with his wife.
The firm later changed its name to Radio Taxis Chesham and the couple built up the business to include school minibuses and a limousine service for weddings and funerals.
The company then became Gilberts Taxis when he handed the reins in 1990 to his eldest son Chris and his wife Tracey, while younger son Paul diversified in setting up a parcel delivery service, Gilberts Parcels.
After Barbara died in 1998, Ron hung up his minibus keys and retired to spend time gardening, eating out and holidaying with his family.
Chris said: “He was a very private man, yet he was also well-known and well-liked around the town because he had run his business for so long. He did a lot of work for Latimer House and was driving a minibus for their jobs until he retired.
“We would like to thank all the Gilberts staff for their support at, what has been, a difficult time. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.
“I’d also like to thank Iain Rennie [hospice] and their staff who were fantastic in caring for dad at home too.”
Mr Gilbert also leaves eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The funeral service will take place at Chilterns Crematorium at 10.45am on Thursday, May 10. Anyone wishing to attend is welcome. The family have requested no flowers but a collection for the Iain Rennie Hospice at Home will be made at the funeral or, alternatively, donations can be sent direct to them at Grove House in Chalfont St Giles.