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Editor turned regional press marketing boss dies aged 54

Chris BeechA regional press marketing boss and former editor has died aged 54 days after undergoing major surgery.

Tributes have been paid to Newsquest South East regional marketing manager Chris Beech, who was based at the company’s Watford office for many years.

Chris, pictured, was also a compositor, sub-editor and editor of the St Albans Observer during his 33-year association with the company.

Newsquest South East managing director Mike Harper has among those to pay tribute.

He told the Watford Observer: “It is rare to find someone who cares as much about people as they do about the products they produce and the customers that consume them. Chris Beech was one such man.

“Losing Chris has been a tragedy for Liz, his wife, and for his sons of whom he was so proud. His loss has also had a profound impact on those he worked with for so long, his colleagues and his friends.

“As impressive as his career was, the remarkable thing was that he achieved all that he did and remained kind and thoughtful towards others, whilst maintaining a focused eye on the business and the customers it serves.

“The business will be a poorer place without Chris’ focus and skill, but that is not the only thing he will be remembered most for.

“Most of all his colleagues, and the executive team he was part of, will remember Chris for be a true gentleman, a man of principle, a man of ideas and a man of respect.”

Former Observer assistant editor Oliver Phillips added: “His life was painfully short but I know and hope parts of it were indeed wonderful. A lovely colleague.”

Chris died on 23 July following major surgery a few days previously.

Bob Ambrose, who knew Chris for around 20 years, said: “I never knew him once to raise his voice. He was really calm, so helpful and kind with his time.

“With him in marketing and me as designer we liaised a lot with work, but I saw him more as a friend than a colleague. We used to chat about anything and everything, be it cricket, his kids, Will and Tom, loads of things.”

Tom Moore, another former colleague, added: “I loved working with Chris and I will always be grateful of his support, knowledge (not just of fonts) patience, advice and most of all his friendship.

“I’m so grateful that we were able to continue and strengthen this friendship outside of work, and that I was privileged to meet his family, friends and share many treasured moments with him over a pint or two.”