UK: Kingsley Curtis, chairman of UK air conditioning and refrigeration wholesaler HRP, sadly passed away yesterday morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.
Having completed his engineering apprenticeship, Kingsley, then just 22, followed in the family footsteps by joining HRP in 1959. HRP had been founded by his father Bill, Thomas Headland and Harold D’Aubney in 1945. He became managing director in 1964 following the death of his father in 1963.
A true gentlemen of the industry, he built HRP into one of the UK’s leading wholesalers of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
Despite his illness, Kingsley continued to take a keen interest in all aspects of the Company’s development and had recently undertaken a tour of HRP’s nationwide chain of Service Centres to celebrate the Company’s 70th anniversary.
“HRP has always been a family company, much noted for its long serving employees,” commented HRP Group managing director, Mandy Pilgrim. “Kingsley has touched a great many lives in his long career and his loss will be deeply felt by many, both in HRP and the wider industry.”
In a statement the company said: “Despite the loss of Kingsley, the shareholders have every confidence that the management team and staff will continue to develop HRP’s long term future.”
Per Bertland, CEO of Beijer Ref, the largest shareholder outside of the Curtis family, said “Kingsley has built a sound and exciting business. We look forward to further development of HRP and stand behind the management at this sad time.”