Maurice Richardson, veteran councillor and former mayor of Wyre, has died at the age of 81.
Mr Richardson, who was made an honorary alderman for his lengthy service, was today remembered as a dedicated public servant and school governor, and a beloved family man.
His funeral will be held next Monday afternoon.
David Henderson, the leader of Wyre Council and a friend of Mr Richardson for two decades, said: “I found Maurice to be an absolutely excellent person, a great raconteur, and an inspiration.”
Mr Richardson served as a Conservative councillor in the Highcross area of Poulton from May 1991 until May 2007, the council said. He was honoured for his years of service in August 2007 alongside a number of other councillors.
“He was a man of the people,” Coun Barry Birch MBE, who was elected to serve the Highcross ward in May 2007, when Mr Richardson stood down, said. “He loved to talk and enjoyed his work. He was a true gent and a very hands-on councillor.
“If people had a problem, Maurice used to go round and get it sorted. He was very proactive. He was very proud of being in Poulton.”
Mr Richardson was deputy mayor in 1998/99, and mayor in 2004/05, with his wife Maureen serving as mayoress, records showed.
“She is a wonderful partner and together we can serve the borough of Wyre,” he said at his swearing in at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall. During his time as the borough’s first citizen, he raised money for Brian House Children’s Hospice in Low Moor Road, Bispham, and Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Cardiac Unit, off Whinney Heys Road. “This is a much needed facility on the Fylde coast,” he said of Brian House. “And they need funding to be able to forge on with an extension, which will cost an estimated £2.5 million.”
Mr Richardson’s mayoral successor, Peter Pimbley, whose wife Sue remains a councillor in Great Eccleston, later said he had “upheld the highest standards set by previous mayors”.
And Ramesh Gandi, who was picked to serve as deputy mayor to Mr Richardson after just a year on the council, said: “He gave me a chance. He was so generous in many ways. As a mayor, he was superb. He kept his sense of humour, and kept people in order, and at the same time he allowed people to talk when they wanted to.”
Mr Richardson, who owned Fylde coast-based estate agent Falkus, which had offices in Tithebarn Street, Poulton, and King Street, Blackpool, also served as governor at Breck Primary School until 2012, including a time as chairman.
Coun Henderson added: “Maurice had left the council when I came on – I knew him from a more personal point of view. I knew him personally for 20 years and served on Breck Primary School’s governors’ board with him. He brought a lot to the school. He was a very valued member of the governing body.”
Coun Roger Berry, who was also elected to serve the Highcross ward in 2007, said Mr Richardson was well known for organising litter picks and holding open air meetings. He added: “He was very sociable and outgoing, had a great personality, and was a perfect gentleman.”
Mr Richardson died at the Alexandra Nursing Home, in Moorland Road, Poulton, last Saturday, August 25.
He was described in a family announcement as a “beloved husband” and “much loved dad and grandad.”