Tributes have been paid to the ‘Papa’ of Morelli’s Ice Cream dynasty - Guido Morelli - who passed away yesterday.
Mr Morelli, who was 81-years, died “peacefully and surrounded by his family following a period of illness”, a statement from the family said.
The father-of-five had been “very much at the helm of the Northern Ireland ice cream family business”.
The family statement added that he had “worked tirelessly and came into the office every day, taking charge of developing new recipes”.
His daughter Daniela Morelli, 35, said: “Dad was a much-loved and loving husband, father, nonno, bis nonno and friend to all who knew him.
“He always had a smile on his face and brought so much joy to everyone at the company and our incredible customers. We will miss him but our wonderful memories will keep him alive in our hearts.”
Ms Morelli told the News Letter she and her four siblings “were able to spend quality time with him” before his passing.
“He was really happy towards the end with how the business was going and the volumes of ice cream that is going out of the factory,” she said. “He had been happy during the recent hot weather when we went up to the hospital and told him how much ice cream was going out of the factory.
“He kept his sense of humour right up to the end.”
Ms Morelli said her father had worked in the north coast business with his two brothers Nino and Corrado - after they inherited the business from their parents.
“He took the lead in product development,” she said. “Ice cream was his real passion and he was very interested in the technical aspect of it and as the recipes are quite technical, he had a great brain for working out the formulations.”
She said her family “will miss meeting in my father’s house every Sunday for pasta”.
“He was a real fun person to be around, just like my mum who was Italian too,” she said. “He was a very jovial character and very calm, you could not rattle him at all.
“He loved being with his family, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.”
Guido Morelli’s funeral will take place at 1pm on Thursday at Saint Patrick’s Church, Portrush. He will be buried afterwards in Agherton cemetery, Portstewart.