Friends, family mourn after Bay businessman found dead
A MUCH-LOVED and prominent Hervey Bay businessman is being mourned after he was found dead at his Hervey Bay home.
Sean Houston, who established Hervey Bay’s Jump Park alongside Kelly Canavan in 2015, died of a suspected heart attack last week.
Ms Canavan said Mr Houston, 56, had been loved and respected by everyone who worked at and visited the jump park.
“He often sat at the entrance so he could greet customers and also have the opportunity to check that people leaving had a great time,” she said.
Ms Canavan said Mr Houston preferred being the fun guy, rather than being the one enforcing the rules.
“He excelled at customer service and was vigilant on safety,” she said.
“He would walk around the park checking that everyone was obeying the rules and disliked having to point them out to people, so he would ask Jen, the assistant manager, to go and talk to them.
“He would chat to everyone young or old, would hand out free icy poles - he loved being the creator of all the fun.”
Mr Houston’s funeral was held on the Gold Coast, Ms Canavan said.
“Family and friends remember Sean as being larger than life, a loveable larrikin,” she said.
“He was one in a million.”
Bernadette Harris said her daughter Tahlia worked at the jump park and remembered Mr Houston as being a wonderful boss.
“He was brilliant,” she said.
“He was really understanding and just lovely.
“He did everything for everybody - he was the best boss she’s ever had.”
Ms Harris said he would be greatly missed.
“He loved the kids, absolutely loved the jump park,” she said.
Councillor Stuart Taylor regularly took his children to the jump park and said Mr Houston had become a great friend.
“He was just a stellar human being - really nice to everybody he met,” he said.
“My kids have spent a significant amount of time at the jump park since day one.”
Before the park even opened, Cr Taylor spent time with Mr Houston as he considered the region as a place to establish the business.
“He had an infectious joy about him,” he said.
“He certainly made everyone feel welcome.
“He always had such a positive outlook on Hervey Bay and our community.”
Cr Taylor said the jump park was very much part of the fibre of the Fraser Coast community.
“We’ve had children’s birthday parties there,” he said.
“Whenever I saw Sean around town he would never walk past without saying hello, whether it was at the shops or the beach.
“However busy he was, he always made time.”