HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a business owner who “charmed all he met with stories of his colourful life” following his death at the age of 100.

Oronzo Argentieri and his wife Anne bought Lower Barn Farm, in Rayleigh, in 1986 and for the next four decades built a family business. 

Today, they supply landscape products, fireplaces and wood burning stoves, designer kitchens with worktop manufacturing and have an award-winning tearoom on site. 

During his colourful life, Oronzo lived in several countries including Italy, Canada and America before settling in the UK in Rochford.

Echo: Stunning couple - Oronzo with his late wife AnneStunning couple - Oronzo with his late wife Anne (Image: Lorenzo Argentieri)


Oronozo’s son Lorenzo said: “My father’s greatest business success was Lower Barn Farm where up to 100 people earn their living.

“The family business participants were Oronzo, Anne, myself and my little brother John who passed away in 2019 at the age of 49 years. I am the only one left alive, but my sons Luke and James are taking the business into the next generation.”

Oronzo sadly passed away on October 19 2023 and his funeral cortege visited the premises of Lower Barn Farm on Friday so loved ones, staff and customers could pay their respects to the wonderful character on the way to Bentleys Crematorium where a service was held.

Oronzo was born to parents Julio Cesare and Filomena on 19 August 1927 in Puglia, Southern Italy.

It was there that he and his six brothers worked on land owned by his family and the Catholic Church. He helped the Americans in the war effort as a 16 year old and later emigrated to Canada where he helped build railways in Alaska.

Oronzo married Anne who emigrated from England after the Second World war in the early 1950s and they had three children. 

He then moved to Brooklyn New York, where he lived and worked in heavy industry.
Oronzo and Anne owned farms in Italy during the 1970s and later several corner shops including one in Elmsleigh Drive in Leigh.



Lorenzo said: “My Dad lived to see not only his grandchildren but his great grandchildren. 

“He inspired generations to leave Italy and explore the world. They know him as the

“Americano” in his hometown.”