Mourners pay tribute to father-of-three and pillar of the community who died at age of 44

Hundreds of people attend funeral of Stuart Epstein, who raised thousands for charity and was a pillar of the Hampstead Garden Suburb community


Hundreds of mourners gathered at Bushey cemetery for the funeral of father-of three Stuart Epstein, who had died suddenly aged 44.

The huge turn-out, on Tuesday, was a tribute to the popularity of Mr Epstein, husband to Daliah and much respected member of Norrice Lea community.

Mr Epstein, who died on December 12, was hailed as a "mensch" for his work for numerous charitable causes within the community.

Tributes poured in following his death.

Delivering a heartfelt eulogy to mourners, Mr Epstein's brother Rodney said:"Stuart was a Tzaddik because of the effort he put into his family, his Judaism, and to helping others.

"With two weeks to go until Chanucah and too few Tzadikim available, Stuart has been called for a higher mission.

"There's plenty of us who need him down here, but perhaps that was what Hashem has in store for him - something greater than the current realm."

In this week's JC, Mr Epstein's devastated parents Thelma and Norman wrote: "He was wonderful, caring, loving, devoted husband, son, brother and father taken with no notice or warning.

"We will desperately miss him."

Mr Epstein grew up in Wembley, north-west London after his parents had moved to the UK from Cape Town, South Africa when he was just one year old.

His sister Janice died at the age of 22, when she was involved in a car crash.

Mr Epstein, who ran a mortgage company, was remembered for his charitable exploits - including the £20,000 he raised in one day for JRoots following a 24-hour long sponsored silence.

In recent years he took the children's service at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue on Shabbat.

As brother Rodney recalled: "Stuart's orthodoxy came not by obligation - but by love."

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