Middlesborough dealer, Jarreds Office Supplies, has announced the passing of Eugene Jarred (known to many as Gene Jarred), who died peacefully at home on 15th May aged 87 years.
Gene started the business in 1972 selling office stationery and by 1994 had grown to five shops providing a range of products from office supplies, art materials, toys, and nursery supplies. E C Jarreds was one of the founder members of the Advantia Buying Group and have remained loyal to the group ever since. Gene was also Chairman of the Centre Toy Group and orchestrated the merger with the Toymaster Group.
Gene retired from the day to day running of the office supplies business in 1996, however, he continued to work actively in the toy and nursery business until four years ago when he decided to close the shop due to the retail pressures widely experienced.
Perhaps not known by many is that Gene was a professional trumpet player from the 1950s playing in the Big Bands (Swing, Jazz etc.), including the Count Basie Orchestra and in the early 60s at the N.A.T.O bases in Europe. Back home he played in theatre shows with Morecambe & Wise, Jimmy Tarbuck, and many others. Gene later went on to write Big Band arrangements for headline singers including Shirley Bassey.
In 1966 the Gene Jarred Big Band became resident at a local venue where they remained for the next 10 years, only ending when his office supplies business was well established and was taking so much of his time.
Gene didn’t blow for another 20 years and on his ‘retirement’ from the business started arranging music for other bands eventually leading to the reformation of the Gene Jarred Big Band who continued to play until last Summer, his declining health caused Gene to hand over the baton to another musician. He also kept his hand in with the business and could be regularly seen in the shop doing odd jobs up until a few weeks ago.
Gene’s two daughters, Joanne and Jacqueline, continue to run the business and would like to take this opportunity to thank the many friends and colleagues their father met through the industry and for the support and encouragement given over the years.