THE wife of a former Burton businessman says she is lost without him following his death.
Tributes have been paid to car salesman John Yates, who has died at the age of 69 following a short battle with cancer.
The former owner of John Yates Cars, in Hawkins Lane, was described as a ‘much-loved husband’ and ‘devoted dad’ who had a love of wildlife when away from his forecourt.
Mr Yates ran the business for nearly two decades with his wife of 48 years Lynette never far from his side.
While Mr Yates took care of the car sales, she ran Yates Cafe which was only yards away on the same site as her husband’s business.
Mrs Yates has many happy memories of the time the couple spent working in Hawkins Lane.
She said: “He was very proud of his cars. They were used cars but they were good quality. He always made sure they were clean and valeted.
“He was always working. He ate, drank and slept work. He loved to have a nice row of cars and he had regular customers who would come back time and time again.”
It was vehicles that brought the pair together nearly half a century ago at a motorbike rally in Derbyshire.
Mrs Yates said: “We both had a great love of motorbikes. I don’t know what I noticed first, the motorbike or him!
“We bought a motorcycle together and he did the mechanics and I did the polishing. We sold it for the deposit on our house.”
Mr Yates set up John Yates Cars during the 1980s and retired from the business around 10 years ago.
He battled pancreatic cancer for a short time before his death.
He also leaves son Gary and daughter Vanessa as well as grandchildren Mollie and Georgia.
Mrs Yates said: “He was very straight, He had old-fashioned values. He loved his family and he loved the environment. He loved wildlife, he had four dogs and was always walking them.
“He looked after me so I’m really lost without him. I haven’t a clue what I’m going to do without him. We all miss him greatly.”
Mr Yates’ funeral will be held in Stretton on Monday.