John Hancock, managing director of Petlife International, has died at the age of 67, after a short and unexpected illness.
John formed Petlife in 1993 with three fellow directors and as part of a management buyout team. Only last year the company celebrated 25 years of growth with John still at the helm.
The head office is in Bury St Edmunds and the company has expanded over the years buying pet bedding manufacturer DJ Pet Products, and Alushred home of Flectalon material; incorporating manufacturing and distribution plants in Lincolnshire and Wales.
During the 25 years at Petlife, John took control of the business; buying out the original directors involved in the 1993 management buyout.
The company has grown to employ 39 staff across the three sites and ‘keeping it in the family’, oldest son James has worked through the ranks into the recent role of sales and marketing director. James will be stepping into his father’s shoes to take on the role of executive director of the business, moving forward..
John had many friends and business acquaintances. Outside of running the family business, he studied and gained qualifications in hypnotherapy and NLP, and travelled the world in his thirst for knowledge on the subjects. He used his qualifications and experience to help many others.
He also wrote and published two children’s books and was also an active member of numerous masonic lodges..
‘A GREAT LEADER’
Today Petlife trades as an international company, manufacturing and distributing hundreds of pet products across the UK, Europe and further afield. Own products include the original and well-known Vetbed brand and Harkers branded products, as well as being the main distributors of the USA Oxbow small animal range. The international vision was John’s intent and he has left the company in great shape, both in the UK and abroad.
James said: “We, as a company, have lost a great leader. As a family, we have lost a very special father and grandfather. We are lucky with John’s drive and vision, over the years, to inherit a successful, sound and growing national and international business.
“We are determined as a team to respect and build on the legacy he has left us. John will be missed by many.”
The funeral will take place at West Suffolk Crematorium, St Edmunds Chapel, on Wednesday, November 27, 11am. A gathering for John will follow the service at a venue close to Bury St Edmunds.
As a mark of respect, all three Petlife business premises will be closed for the day.