'The Ice Cream in Heaven just got a little bit sweeter': Family announce sad passing of South Shields business legend Michael Minchella
Michael Minchella, co-owner of Minchella & Co South Shields, has sadly passed away peacefully at his home with his loving wife Anne by his side, his family have said.
A statement on the family business Facebook page said Michael had been undergoing treatment for chronic kidney disease and passed away on Wednesday, May 4.
Michael entered and won many accolades in the National Ice Cream Competition, including National Ice Cream Champion in 2018.
He was one of the stalwarts of the Ice Cream Alliance, serving on the board and having been President from 1990 - 1991.
In a heartfelt tribute posted by the family on the Minchella and Co Facebook page, they said: "The Ice Cream in Heaven just got a little bit sweeter…
“After sometime undergoing treatment for chronic kidney disease, Michael made the very tough decision to withdraw and spend more quality time with his friends and family.
"Michael embraced the consequences of this decision head-on. In doing so, he showed courage and bravery, whilst also ensuring the welfare of his family, as he always did throughout his life.
“Michael was a proud family man, recognising all the achievements of his wider family both past and present. Michael whole heartedly loved his wife Anne, who has been an incredible support to him, particularly in his later life.
"He was also a proud father to son Joe and his partner Jade and loving ‘Nonno’ to his grandson Federico. He would remind them of how much he loved them every day.
“We shall remember Michael as always being on hand to support and help those who needed it. He truly was one of the wisest and funniest, always having the right thing to say at the right time.”
The family said that out of the hundreds of ice cream flavours Michael produced, his favourite was “freshly made vanilla, eaten straight from a litre tub, with a large spatula”.
In an additional post, son Joe said: “Dad, you have left me with so much love and happy memories. I couldn’t have been prouder of you. Thank you for everything you have done for me, my friends and family. You will live in my heart forever.”
Anyone who would like to share memories or photographs of Michael can do so via the Minchella Facebook page.