Tributes have been paid to CirclePrinters’ UK sales director Angus Jurkschat, who died just before Christmas.
Jurkschat was diagnosed with an acute form of leukaemia in July 2015. Despite an intensive treatment regime he died on 21 December, aged 50.
José Camacho, chief executive of the continental web and gravure printing group, said: “Angus passing away was devastating news for all of us at CirclePrinters. He was an invaluable member of our sales organisation and not only because he was an extraordinary salesman.
"If I had to describe Angus with just one word that would be 'gentleman'. Angus was the perfect gentleman; always calm, always polite, always having a nice word for his colleagues. He was enthusiastic, positive and hard working. We will miss him.”
Jurkschat had worked in the industry for more than 20 years. He started in print after writing to media magnate Robert Maxwell asking for a career opportunity. Maxwell helped him to secure a sales role at BPC.
Webmart chief executive Simon Biltcliffe said: “I knew him well. He was London sales director when I was handling the rest of the country. He had a very different style of selling to me with a penchant for Purdeys – the guns rather than the Avengers. He was hard working and suave.”
Wyndeham Group business development director Adrian Clark was also part of the BPC sales team at the time. “He was a top man, with never a bad word to say about anyone. Everyone liked him and people wanted to work with him. He will be sadly missed, he was a great guy.”
In the mid-1990s Jurkschat moved on to become sales and marketing director at Canadian-owned Quebecor UK, which became Quebecor World. In 2008 it closed its UK factory and sold off its other European operations, with the business subsequently becoming CirclePrinters.
Over the years Jurkschat worked with major UK and European clients across the publishing, mail order catalogues, retail and holiday brochure markets.
Dominic Pemberton, head of publications and new media at Home Retail Group, said: “When I first met Angus in 1997 he was the rep for Quebecor, he had replaced my long-standing contact ‘Uncle Frank’ Bannister, another much-loved print salesman.
"Angus was highly regarded by the Colour 49 team and I soon came to understand why he was thought of as a gentleman. He remained calm in a crisis and was the consummate professional who solved problems with intelligence, energy and good humour. ‘A good head and a good heart are a formidable combination’ and this was never truer than for Angus Jurkschat.
“Angus will be missed by many, we are all better people for having known him and we will remember and celebrate his zest for life, integrity and value for people and friendships – you will be missed my friend," Pemberton added.
Joanne Hurst, European print production director at Lands’ End, also paid tribute: “It was always a pleasure and a privilege working with Angus. He was certainly one of the good guys of our bumpy industry. Honest, straightforward, delivered. I shall miss him greatly.”
Jurkschat is survived by his wife Kate and their children Rudi and Natasha.
There will be a private family funeral on the morning of Friday 8 January, followed by a Thanksgiving Service at 2.30pm at St George’s Church in Stamford, which industry colleagues are welcome to attend.
The family has requested family flowers only. However donations in Jurkschat’s memory can be made to the Cancer Services Charitable Fund at Peterborough City Hospital, care of EM Dorman funeral directors.