Warm tributes have been paid to a popular businessman who passed away earlier this month.
Pankaj Patel, known to everyone as Pan, ran Nisa in Firle Road on the corner of Western Road and was a popular figure in the community having been in Eastbourne for 21 years.
He was 59 and leaves his wife Minakshi and children Jay and Rea, daughter-in-law Bhavisha and granddaughter Siya.
He had been suffering with cancer and passed away in the early hours of Monday June 3 in St Wilfrid’s Hospice. His funeral was held three days later and hundreds of people packed into Eastbourne Crematorium.
Pan was born in Jinja in southern Uganda and moved to England in 1970 where he grew up in Leicester.
He moved to Nottingham where he married Minakshi and the couple’s son and daughter were born.
Jay said, For the past 21 years we have been living in Eastbourne where we have built up a successful family business.
“My father made so many amazing friends along the way who have been there for him. This was most evident by the amount of visitors that came to see him while he was at the hospice.
His daughter said in a tribute, “My dad has always been hard working, instilling those qualities in not only his friends but also his wife and children.
“He achieved so much in life providing for his family.
“These qualities were shown in the way he conducted himself through his goals, dreams and aspirations.
“He showed strength until the very end and still had some enlightening moments for us. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of Monday June 3.
“We would like to thank everyone on behalf of our family for all the love and support we have received over these past several months and especially to everyone at St Wilfrid’s Hospitce for all of their continued support.”
Hundreds of people have left tributes to Pan on Facebook.