Mr Fewings retired from Home Hardware SouthWest on November 18 after 48 years with the company, the past 25 of them as executive chairman.
His retirement was marked by numerous personal tributes at the company's bi-annual convention, held at Woolacombe, Devon, on November 19-20.
"John has always impressed me with his business sense and forward thinking," said David Adams, his successor as executive chairman. "In 1986 he said his goal was for Home Hardware to be a national distributor, and he has achieved that goal." He paid tribute to Mr Fewings' ability as a talent spotter, citing md Martin Elliott and company secretary Sean Davey as two of his protégés. "John is going to be a hard act to follow," he said.
"I first met John when he was company secretary, and he became like a father to me," said Martin Elliott. "It was very seldom that we had a difference of opinion - just occasionally he would say 'I'm not sure I would have done it that way' meaning 'what a lash-up' - but he retired yesterday, so he's no longer my boss, and I can say what I want this evening."
Responding, Mr Fewings was characteristically modest. "It's difficult for me to realise that my time at the sharp end has ended," he said. "We're all called upon to play some part in the scheme of things, and I'm delighted to have played a part. I shall now watch the future performance of the team from my seat in the pavilion."