FAMILY of much-loved businessman Ray Cargill have been devastated by his death just days after he started displaying coronavirus symptoms.

Mr Cargill, 68, from Bromham, near Devizes, was not tested for COVID-19 but his family has now had it confirmed he died of the virus with contributory Type 2 diabetes.

His son Elliot said: "Knowing he died of coronavirus is devastating and it has really brought it home to our family and many others locally."

On Mother’s Day Mr Cargill was in good health but just a couple of days later he started to feel ill and deteriorated rapidly.

He died during the early hours of Saturday with just his wife Linda and paramedics at his family home.

His son Elliot said: “My dad was at the centre of all of our worlds. He was the person we all turned to for advice. He always had words of wisdom and he did so much for all of us.

“He loved us all being together for family occasions and always had stories to tell about everything.

“He and my mum had been married for 45 years. She had a hip replacement only a couple of weeks ago. We all feel so bad not being able to give her a hug. It is so difficult not being able to go to her to offer comfort at a time like this.

“My dad showed so much love to us all and he adored my son Toby, eight, who was his only grandchild. None of us can quite believe this has happened.

“He was very sporty when he was younger playing for lots of local football and cricket teams. He was a supporter of Manchester United.

“He did a lot for charity especially the RNLI and Alzheimers. He loved the sea and I think that is why he supported the RNLI.”

His son said his father was generally in good health but did suffer from type 2 diabetes.

He said: “We think he died of coronavirus but are waiting to hear for definite.”

The family expect only a few closest relatives to be allowed to attend the funeral but will hold a celebration of Mr Cargill’s life later in the year.

Mr Cargill also leaves an elder son Alex as well as daughter-in-laws Kat and Heidi, brother Ross Paget and step-father Peter Paget.

Mr Cargill grew up in Bromham and was managing director of Bromham Growers which supplied vegetables to big firms such as Waitrose. He was also a director of Cargill Enterprises.

Among those who have paid tribute to Mr Cargill are Scott Sartin managing director of Charlton Baker accountants where Elliot works as practice manager.

Mr Sartin said: “All at Chartlon Baker share our deepest sympathies to our practice director and family, whose father Ray Cargill passed away in the early hours of this morning.

“Ray was always interested in what we were doing as a business and was a backer of us in all possible ways. Ray was an extremely popular man in Devizes.”

Town councillor and former neighbour Chris Greenwood said: “Ray’s laughter and smile were infectious. He was always entertaining and an easy man to love.”

Mr Cargill was chairman and trustee of Devizes Almshouses and was dedicated to its work.

‘My dad was the centre of all of our worlds’