Hotelier and former executive secretary of the Master Innholders Russell Francis Young has died.
Born in February 1953, Young was previously the proprietor of the Pear Tree at Purton in Wiltshire, a former vicarage that he and his wife Anne Young bought in 1987 and transformed into a 17-bedroom hotel and restaurant.
Young's hospitality career began with formal management training at the Savoy in London and included working at the Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados and the Chester Grosvenor, as well as a spell as food & beverage manager at the King of Jordan's Royal Palace.
He became a Master Innholder in 1994, acting as a clerk with help from his late wife Anne from 2001 to 2006, and he helped to develop the General Managers Conference.
A keen supporter of Springboard, Young also helped to launch the industry charity's Inspire programme.
Harry Murray, chairman of Lucknam Park, said that Young - known to his friends and colleagues as Francis - had an incredible knowledge of wine, which was reflected in his planting of a vineyard at the Pear Tree.
He continued: "Francis was a fun person who loved life; he was a kind and generous host.
"I am deeply saddened by his untimely passing and my thoughts are with his son Edward, daughter Alix, and their families at this sad time."
Richard Edwards, with whom Young worked at the Chester Grosvenor, added: "Francis was always a hardworking and committed young man, who was very popular with all his colleagues."
Young passed away on 28 December 2018 aged 65. In addition to Edward and Alix, he is survived by his grandson Charlie and siblings Nick and Juliet.
A Memorial Service will be held at St Peter's Church in Henfield, West Sussex on Saturday 2 February 2019 at 2.30pm.Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).