A councillor who died after falling ill on holiday was today described as a “real people person.”
Tony Lee died in Trinity Hospice on Sunday, aged 71, after being diagnosed with cancer during a holiday in France just weeks ago.
The father-of-four had represented Waterloo ward on Blackpool Council for the Conservatives since 2007 and served as deputy mayor in 2010/11.
His widow Eileen said: “He had started to feel unwell but went to France on holiday thinking he could recuperate, but we took him to the doctor after three days.
“He was admitted to a French hospital where he got excellent care and they advised us to fly him home.
“When we got back, he was taken into Blackpool Victoria Hospital, and then to Trinity Hospice where they looked after him really well.
“We are full of sadness but we feel he had a well-rounded life.
“He loved going out and meeting people and was a real people person, he went out every day on his patch. He was so focused and really wanted to make a difference.”
Conservative group leader Coun Tony Williams said: “He worked hard, often seven days a week, helping to improve the lives of those who lived and worked in the ward.
“He was especially concerned about improving shopping in the Waterloo Road area and he was committed to helping those affected by the market closure to re-establish their businesses.
“He had recently negotiated a complete refurbishment of South Shore station which will help to attract visitors.
“His illness was sudden and he was working as usual at full speed just seven days before he was taken ill. He will be missed by his colleagues on all sides of the political arena.”
Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn has also paid tribute.
He said: “The sudden nature of Tony’s departure has come as a great shock to us all.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family at what must be a very difficult time for them.”
Coun Lee’s funeral will be at 10am on August 6 at Holy Trinity Church on Dean Street, South Shore.
He leaves his widow Eileen, children Damian, Anthony, Gemma and Philip, and four grandchildren.