Pub has ‘suddenly lost its heart and our family and community has lost a true legend’ says Keely after the death at 62 of her dad Steve Baxter

PUBLISHED: 16:57 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:57 03 December 2018

Stephen Baxter, popular Ely publicant and landlord of the West End House for the past 15 years, has died. Picture: FAMILY

Stephen Baxter, popular Ely publicant and landlord of the West End House for the past 15 years, has died. Picture: FAMILY

Archant

Popular Ely publican Steve Baxter of the West End House in West End has died at the age of 62.

His daughter, Keely, said: “On November 13, 2018 the West End House sadly and suddenly lost its heart and our family and community has lost a true legend.”

Mr Baxter had pancreatitis last year and was on the road to recovery but after a short spell in hospital this year he developed complications and died suddenly as a result.

Keely said: “However you came across our dad whether in the pub, on the quiz, domino or crib circuit you knew he was larger than life.

“He was proud of his family and we are proud of the amazing pub he left behind.”

His daughter said her dad was always welcoming and ran a popular bar “but you were soon put in your place if you were to disrespect his staff or the pub. He was

always eager to please and would jump on the bandwagon when a celebration was afoot, often handing a new dad his first pint to wet the baby’s head and would even open the pub early when his regulars got married.”

She described him as a “people pleaser and teaser giving a lot of locals nicknames by which they are known by today.”

After moving to Ely 15 years ago Steve and his wife Kim became a big part of the community putting his love of football to good use with the pub team “to always belting out a tune on his infamous karaoke nights”.

Keely said the past two months have been tough for the whole family with her dad’s prized dog Murphy dying the month before.

“The street just won’t look the same without these two walking up it,” she said.

Keely said she spoke on behalf of the whole family by personally thanking all customers both old and new “for the overwhelming support you have given us.

“It’s now time to carry on his legacy, The West End House may have lost its heart but mum is the soul that will keep it running with your continued support”

The funeral is on December 13, leaving the West End at 12.15pm for Bury St Edmunds Crematorium.

Those attending are invited back to the pub from 3pm on the day. All are invited to the funeral service.

Keely says as lovely as flowers are, they were keeping these to family tributes only.

“But should you wish to leave a tribute to his life, we are planting a tree to flourish in his memory, and please see our justgiving page should you wish to pay homage,” she said.

The family is raising £1,000 to buy and plant a memorial tree instead of flowers “so that his seven grandchildren have somewhere to visit for years to come”. The fund is already two thirds of the way to its target.

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