Ilmars Kru Zakss, a well-known figure to the UK timber trade, died in his home country of Latvia on February 15, aged 68.

Mr Zakss, who ran his own timber business, was admitted to hospital in Riga for surgery on two brain tumours in September last year and never recovered from the operation.

He pioneered early relationships between timber businesses in Latvia and the UK when the borders were opened in the early 1990s and he started the business with his then wife, Gill Zakss. He had worked energetically in the timber business since then, forming many valued relationships, and will be missed by many for his determination and inspiration. Mr Zakss will always be remembered by those who worked with him for his warmth and friendship but also for his seemingly unlimited enthusiasm and optimism.