Born in Southampton in 1920, Stephens started work as a research engineer in London and joined Vickers Armstrong in Weybridge after WWII.

In 1955 he was appointed to set up a central print department at Vickers to reduce outsourcing and cope with the amount of photographic and printing material required by the aviation industry. Following this Stephens launched his own printing business, Optichrome, in Woking in 1963.

Stephens lived in Pirbright, Surrey for 45 years. He bought agricultural land in the 1960s, which he turned into a smallholding to supply a local butcher.

Colleague and friend John Heywood, who is managing director of Optichrome, called Stephens an innovator an inspirational character.

“He was an engineer with a brillinat mind. He’d fix anything that was broken and even build things from scratch just to keep himself occupied. Nothing was ever too much for him,” said Heywood.

Stephens is survived by two daughters, Jenny and Sue, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Stephens’ funeral will be held on Tuesday 27 August at 12pm at the Church of St Michael and All Angels in Pirbright, Surrey.

Family flowers only but donations can be made to Marie Curie via