ONE of the most well-known and popular figures in the west Wiltshire business community has died at his home in Trowbridge.

Teodoro Alfredo Melillo, 75, died at his home in Drynham Lane, on Monday, June 22 surrounded by his wife, Rosanna, and two children, Maria and Giuseppe.

Mr Melillo was born on April 18 in 1945 in Italy, to Giuseppe and Adelina Melillo.

One of seven children, he was educated in the village of Roccaromana before leaving for Switzerland to work after completing18 months national service in the Italian Army as a radio communications officer.

He later came to the United Kingdom to join two of his siblings, a brother and a sister, and make a new life for himself.

He met his wife, Rosanna, in Glastonbury and the couple married in 1980. Teodoro, now better known to family and friends as Alfredo or Freddie, worked as a baker initially.

His son recalled: "Dad helped to keep the people of Trowbridge supplied with bread during the bakery workers' strike in 1977."

Long queues formed outside local bakery shops as as housewives battled to stock up as the supply of loaves and stocks of flour dwindled.

By the 1980s, Alfredo had moved on to manage the chain of Ancient Mariner fish and chip shops, including one in Castle Street and another in Roundstone Street in Trowbridge.

By 1988, the family had saved enough money to purchase a fish and chip shop in Silver Street, Bradford on Avon, where the Pizzeria Amici Italian restaurant now stands.

Alfredo and Rosanna bought a cottage in Drynham Lane, North Bradley.

to enlarge the premises as they had they had queues of customers going out of the door and down the busy street.

He and Rosanna, together with their two children, ran the fish and chip shop until 2004, when they decided to retire.

In retirement, Alfredo often helped his son with his property development business and devoted his time to helping others.

A very patriotic Italian, Mr Melillo supported his favourite football team Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli in Naples, and loved to watch Italian-made Ferrari cars racing in Formula 1 Grand Prix.

"On Sundays, you would often hear him roaring at the television as he watched a Grand Prix or the football," his daughter said.

Mr Melillo would only drive Fiat cars and loved to make home-made wine for his family and friends.

Towards the end of his life, he developed the long-term illness that finally claimed him but could often be seen going for a walk on Drynham Lane shadowed by his cat Chilli.

His funeral service was held at St John the Baptist Church in Trowbridge on Thursday July 9. The family have requested donations to the Dorothy House Hospice in Winsley.