A FORMER mayor of Huntingdon who died last week aged 95 has been described by his family as a key community figure. Bernard O Neill (Ben), Mayor of Huntingdon in 1970, died on Tuesday, March 10 at the Woodlands Residential Home in Earith. He had lived
A FORMER mayor of Huntingdon who died last week aged 95 has been described by his family as a key community figure.
Bernard O'Neill (Ben), Mayor of Huntingdon in 1970, died on Tuesday, March 10 at the Woodlands Residential Home in Earith.
He had lived in Temple Close, Huntingdon with his wife, Violet, until the age of 92.
They were married for 70 years. She died on Christmas Eve.
Mr O'Neill was born in Scotland in 1914 and moved to Huntingdon in 1949.
He was the first Roman Catholic mayor of Huntingdon and a member of several committees in the town including Mencap, the Montagu Club and the Caledonian Society.
His last civic occasion was a lunch at Huntingdon Town Hall in 2005 as part of the 800th anniversary celebrations of the signing of the town charter, when he was presented to Princess Anne.
He has a son Brian, now living in Swavesey, two grandsons and five great grandchildren.
Paying tribute to her father-in-law, Brian's wife, Rita said: "He was on, possibly, all of the councils and committees in the area. He became a very key figure in the community. He was very much an involved person in Huntingdon and he was very proud of his time as mayor."
Mr O'Neill was a school governor at St Peter's in Huntingdon and on the committee that campaigned for the building of Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
He was also managing director and later chairman of the Huntingdon Model Laundry in Ouse Walk until it closed in 2004.
He was a founder of the Huntingdon Indoor Bowls Club and a lifelong supporter of Glasgow Celtic Football Club.
Mrs O'Neill added: "I don't know how he managed to do so much and still run a successful business and spend time with his family. He was very much a family man and he will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him."
A funeral service is being held at the Sacred Heart Church in St Ives on Monday (March 23) at 10am followed by burial at Ramsey Road Cemetery. Family flowers only but donations can be made payable to Alzheimer's Disease Society and sent to: c/o William Peacock and Sons, Funeral Directors, Castle Hill Lodge, Castle Moat Road, Huntingdon PE29 3PG.