Tributes have been paid to the much-loved landlord of The Mitre as Buckingham comes to terms with his sudden death.
Keith Templeman ran the pub from 2007 with wife Jane and they were crowned pub of the year just 12 months ago.
The couple were enjoying a rare holiday in south-west France when the grandfather-of-three suffered a heart attack and passed away, aged 59.
Only hours beforehand, the West Ham superfan was teaching club anthem I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles to locals – and he joked that it was the national anthem back home.
Jane, 58, said: “He had had a wonderful day, and if he could have chosen a way to die, that would have been it – although certainly not so soon. Thank you all for your kind words, offers of help, and memories of Keith. He would be proud.”
Keith and Jane previously ran The Cuckoos Nest in Gawcott before moving to Buckingham where they got to know ‘adopted daughter’ Sara Daniell. She said: “Keith was a loyal friend and confidant. He helped so many people in his life. Even if they knew him for a short time, he had done something, in some way, for them.
Keith, an experienced cellist and composer, was a founding member of Buckingham Chamber Orchestra.
Through music, he met town councillor Mike Smith who described Keith as a ‘talented cellist, a great laugh and a great bloke’.
Bucks County Councillor for Buckingham, Robin Stuchbury, said: “People of talent like Keith, people of that ilk, they are valuable people and losing one is not only a terrible tragedy for the family, but
a great loss to the community.”
In April last year, The Mitre won CAMRA’s Pub of the Year for the region.
On behalf of Milton Keynes and North Bucks CAMRA, David Martin said: “I would like to offer our sincere condolences on hearing this sad news.
“Keith was an avid supporter of the campaign and it was a great pleasure to have awarded The Mitre our Pub of the Year only last year – at an event where we were made very welcome by all.
“Wishing all the very best to Jane and the family at this difficult time – we will raise a glass, or several, of very fine ale to his memory.”
Keith’s funeral takes place at Crown Hill Crematorium in Milton Keynes at 10am on June 3, before a gathering at The Mitre.
Flowers are welcome.