By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 20 September 2013 Updated: 24/09 13:28
A FORMER councillor who dedicated his life to helping the community has passed away.
Tom Wareing moved to Redditch in 1956 and became a county and borough councillor before retiring in 2008 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
He served with the Salvation Army, was chairman of governors at Dingleside Middle School and was also a governor at Redditch College - now NEW College - and Bridley Moor High School.
Mr Wareing, who passed away on Wednesday (September 18), celebrated 65 years of marriage last year with wife Beryl, who he met when he was aged just ten at Billesley Baptist Church Sunday School.
As teenagers they both joined the army but he was discharged with dysentery and malaria. While at home on leave in 1947, the couple married at a Birmingham register office aged 19 and 18.
Talking about his wife to the Standard last year, he said they were 'very well matched' and loved 'each other very much'.
The couple had four sons - David, Bob, Paul and Mark, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Coun Juliet Brunner, leader of the Conservative group in Redditch, said: "Tom's passing is a great loss to Redditch, he was devoted to the community.
"Even after his retirement from public life he still kept his finger on the pulse writing letters to the paper and phoning us. He was truly a great public servant, Redditch has been the richer for it."
David Thain, chair of the Redditch County Conservatives, added: "Tom was a fighter all his life for causes he believed in.
"He continued right up to the end to contribute to the community and his town. He will be sadly missed."
Coun Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch Borough Council, said he had served on both the county and borough councils with the Conservative councillor, who had started off his life as a Labour member.
"I've known Tom for over 30 years. He was of course known throughout the town as a prolific letter writer in the paper and he also had a small book published.
"He was one of Redditch's characters from a previous generation including Albert Wharrad, Walter Stranz and the Passinghams. Tom was in that era of long-serving councillors of the borough."
The flag above the Town Hall is currently flying at high mast as a mark of respect to Mr Wareing.
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