TRIBUTES have been paid to a prominent figure in the North East business community.
Dr Herbert Loebl, 89, passed away in hospital surrounded by his family on Monday, having suffered a short illness.
The entrepreneur and exporting expert co-founded scientific instrument manufacturer Joyce, Loebl & Company 62 years ago.
Dr Loebl, of Gosforth, who was awarded the OBE in 1973 for his services to exports, had close connections with Newcastle University Business School throughout his life, and he held workshops for his Herbert Loebl Export Academy, to help firms sell their goods and services overseas, right up until his death.
A funeral service was held on Tuesday at Heaton Cemetery, where many gathered to say their goodbyes.
His daughter, Miriam Grabiner, 51, said: “It was a wonderful ceremony. I think people really liked him and found him to be a very interesting character.
“In his own way he nurtured and looked after people, and in return he was held in very high regard.”
Dr Loebl was 15 when he came to England from Bamberg, Germany, at the end of 1938, escaping the horrors that unfolded the following year.
He met Captain Robert Joyce at King’s College, Newcastle, where the two were on the same course, and they went into partnership after graduating.
It is estimated Joyce, Loebl & Company spawned a further 45 businesses in the region – including those started by the 10 original apprentices they took on, who are all now in their 70s.
Professor Chris Brink, vice chancellor at Newcastle University, said: “Herbert Loebl was a truly inspirational man who leaves a great legacy at our university.
“The university benefited greatly from his energy, enthusiasm and vast experience, and he will be sorely missed.”
Professor John Wilson, director of Newcastle University Business School, said: “We will work hard to ensure his legacy remains a part of our Business School’s future.”
A full obituary of Dr Loebl will appear in The Journal next Thursday.