A MOVING tribute has been paid to a popular Risca businessman described by his son as “just a fantastic man”.

Terry Howell, who owned Terry Howell Building Supplies & Timber Merchants, died peacefully at home aged 76 having been unwell for a couple of months with a heart condition.

Mr Howell, of Risca, who had two sons with his wife Wendy, gave up pig farming to go into business with his father selling wooden ladders.

That business grew into the well known Terry Howells brand, which last year saw a turnover of £9 million.

Working with his two sons, Martin and Tim, as well as his grandchildren Dan, Alice Ben, Josh and Laura, Mr Howell’s business was kept very much in the family. His sixth granddaughter, Emily, works as a nurse in Cardiff.

Speaking to the Argus, Martin Howell described his father as “just a fantastic man”.

“Dad and I were company directors,” he said.

“I’ve been in business with him for nearly 38 years and all that time. We’ve run it together really. We were a team.

“He started making and selling wooden ladders with his father in the late 50s. That grew into saw milling and making fencing panels and fencing components.

“The building merchants business came along in 1962. After that we expanded to Pontypool in 1984 and to the Maesglas site in Newport in 1987.

“In 2015 we took over a five acre site in Newport docks, and we’ve just grown and grown from those humble beginnings.

“A lot of hard work went into it. Dad used to turn up to work wearing work boots and jeans.

“He loved to talk to people, he was definitely the wheeler dealer of the family.

“He was just a fantastic man, especially in the community. He was a founding member of the Risca Town Table. He loved his home town.

“He used to love keeping pigs. That was mine and my brother’s job after we got back from school, to look after the pigs.

“We used to take them to agricultural shows, and we must have won nearly every show in the country.

“After the business expanded in 1984, we decided they had to go so we could focus on that. That’s when I started working at the Pontypool branch at the age of 19.”

To send Mr Howell’s off in style, the family have arranged for the funeral procession to be led by the company’s long distance articulated lorry, which will be garlanded with flowers.

A procession of around five cars will follow behind to St Johns Church in Rogerstone on July 19.

“The truck driver is Shaun James, he's been with the company for about 17 years.

"Dad wanted to be buried at Rogerstone because that’s the church where he married my mum. She’s from Rogerstone and he always wanted to go where she went,” added Martin Howell.

The family are accepting donations for the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK via Phillip Tom & Sons funeral director in Risca.

Following the service, a cremation will take place at Langstone Vale Crematorium at 12.30, with a wake to be held afterwards at the Parkway Hotel Cwmbran. The family have indicated all are welcome.