The relatives of Whitby’s most well-known estate agent have spoken of their shock and devastation after he was found dead at the family home.
Eddie Astin, founder and managing director of Astin’s, was discovered in the garage of his house at Spital Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
His wife Liz, director of sister company Whitby Holiday Cottages, was too distraught to speak about the 59-year-old’s death.
But Eddie’s younger brother, Martyn, told the Gazette they never saw the tragic events of last weekend coming.
He said: “He is the last person that you would have expected to do something so drastic. He obviously had his issues but the family are incredibly shocked that this scenario should evolve.”
When asked what Eddie was like as an older brother Martyn, who lives in West Yorkshire where they both grew up, broke down as he said: “How much did he mean to me? I tell you when he died on that Saturday night, half of me went with him.”
He recalled how on many occasions Eddie had told him that he considered Whitby to be his home after moving here at the age of 27 as an aspiring businessman.
Martyn said: “In some ways Whitby is very similar to where we grew up. Whitby has a seafaring heritage, where we grew up is textile mills but the people are very similar and I think he found the whole heritage of Whitby fascinating.
“He appreciated the area for its many similarities to where he had grown up but he considered Whitby to be his home and he told me that more than once.”
Eddie came to Whitby in 1980 for work and lived at Stainsacre before moving to the West Cliff.
After that he lived at Sleights with first wife Judy and their children Harriet (18) and twins James and George (16).
Seven years ago Eddie remarried and became step-father to Liz’s three children Xavier (21), Izy (19) and Saskia (14) and they lived at Chequers on Spital Bridge.
Despite becoming one of the area’s leading property agents, Martyn says it wasn’t always Eddie’s chosen career path.
He said: “He was just like any other 18 year old, on reaching that sort of age you look forward to what you are going to do with your life and he chose to do that.”
Away from work, Eddie developed a love of flying, starting with microlights and moving to light aircraft. It was a “big, big interest” for him and something he took up after he moved to Whitby.
Rugby also played a big part in Eddie’s life and he was heavily involved with Whitby Rugby Club, playing himself but also enjoying the social side.
Martyn added: “He liked a beer and a curry and a laugh with the boys.
“He was a larger than life character was Edward, always at the centre of what was going on, on a night out always the one saying ‘we are not going home yet’ and I am sure many people will know him as that.”
An inquest has been opened and adjourned.
A Service of Remembrance is being held on Thursday June 13 at St Hilda’s Church on the West Cliff in Whitby at 3.30pm.