A FORMER managing director who founded a Kidderminster water treatment company has died aged 70.

Harry Rowlands, of Stourbridge, died on November 12, nearly three years after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Mr Rowlands founded Purac Limited, based in Birmingham Road, in 1983 and at the height of its success, the firm employed 200 people.

The company was bought by Anglian Water and Mr Rowlands became a regional director for the Asia Pacific region.

He was a prominant figure in the Black Country music scene playing bass for Bev Pegg and his Rock n Roll band and in his retirement, he was director of Age Concern Stourbridge, helping to redevelop the charity’s Elton Centre.

His wife Ruth Rowlands said: “Harry had a rare empathy for other people, he was a person you could not dislike and if you were lucky enough to meet him, his personality and character stayed with you.

“As soon as I met him in 1987 I fell totally in love with him. We had 20 years together and had a wonderful marriage. He was my best friend and life without him doesn't even bear thinking about.”

Mr Rowlands was a pupil at King Edwards VII Grammar School in Stourbridge and gradutated from Manchester University in chemical engineering in 1964.

He began a career in synthetic rubber production before moving into the water industry.

He is survived by his children Lisa and Alec and grandchildren Stanley, Nathalie and Nancy.

Mr Rowland’s funeral will be held at Stourbridge Crematorium on Friday, November 29 at 11am.