Tributes have been paid to a ‘truly good and honest’ Northam town councillor who died on Saturday.
Mike ‘Mic’ Durkin, from Westward Ho!, died aged 75 at North Devon District Hospital following a stroke.
He leaves behind his wife Maggie and sons Ben, 42, Sam, 45.
The family thanked everyone for the hundreds of wishes, cards and prayers on behalf of ‘a truly good and honest man who devoted his last years to the concerns of his local community’.
Mike was a lively and well-respected member of the community and was elected to the town council as the member for Westward Ho! 18 months ago.
Recently, he helped to set up a Mens’ Shed group in the village, and was on various committees, always seeking to improve the community.
Mike was passionate about the refurbishment of Kingsley Hall and spearheaded the campaign to save Westward Ho! park.
Maggie said: “He was a member of the Boys Brigade from childhood, whose motto is Sure and Steadfast.
“Mike has been just that all his life, seeking to bring together opposing groups to find common ground on which they might move forward and improve life.
“He loved people more than politics and public open spaces more than buildings.
“He was not only an IT consultant and troubleshooter for large companies through the 1970s-80s, but owned his own company Psidata from which he retired when he moved to Westward Ho!”
Hugh Brading, mayor of Northam, paid tribute to his friend and fellow councillor.
He said: “Once elected he dedicated his life to serving the community in Westward Ho!
“He was actively involved in the Westward Ho! Community Association, Residents Association, Chairman of the Kingsley snooker Club, a regular attendee at Holy Trinity Church, was forming a Men’s Shed and fought hard to get the park listed as a village green.
“Mick was a quietly spoken, polite, highly intelligent man who I was honoured to be included in his circle of friends.”
Maggie and Mike were set to be celebrating their golden wedding anniversary this year.
Maggie added: “Sadly, now we are just preparing a funeral. So when you see the notices in the paper for this event, do please come and join us, his family and friends.
“Because in the true style in which he lived it will also be a celebration of all that is good and kind and loving and you will be very welcome.”
Caroline Baynton, a friend of the Durkin family, said: “Our condolences to Maggie and Mike’s family; his colleagues and friends.
“Paul and I hold the utmost respect for Mike Durkin, his abilities, his unfailing attention to detail, which was a major irritant to the powers that be; and not least his great compassion and sense of humour.
“A well rounded gentleman and talented individual, without fear or favour, whom it was a privilege to know and who will be very much missed.”
This story will be updated with the funeral details when they are received by the Gazette.