THE funeral of a well-respected retailer, known as the 'original Mr Thrifty’, will take place at noon this Wednesday, at St Nicholas Church, in Sutton.
Ian Wilkinson, from Eccleston, died on Sunday last week following a short illness aged 64.
Also a respected pharmacist, Ian graduated from the University of Liverpool aged 22 before buying his first pharmacy on Ashtons Green Drive, Parr.
After buying his second store, he moved to bigger premises in Fingerpost before deciding to diversify his businesses and open a discount store.
The store, which became the first ‘Mr Thrifty’ was opened in 1983 and was one of the first discount stores in the town.
He also kept another store in the town centre on Claughton Street for a short time and maintained a warehouse in Sutton.
Ian helped to provide employment to the people of St Helens up until his retirement in 2010 and was always conscious of keeping his businesses in the town.
A highlight of his professional career came when he was invited to meet Prince Charles when he made a visit the town a few years ago.
Ian sold the business in 2010 with new management maintaining the ‘Mr Thrifty’ name.
“Our family is so proud of all that dad achieved in his professional life – he worked hard to help the people of St Helens wherever he could,” said Ian’s daughter Kate.
“Dad will be greatly missed by his family and many friends, but he leaves us with precious memories filled with love and laughter.”
He leaves wife Maureen, 64 and daughters Kate, 34 and Anna, 30.