TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Mayor of Havant who has died aged 73.
Ruth Hyson was a long-standing Labour councillor who worked tirelessly for the community.
She was born in County Durham and, at 17, joined the WRAC as a telephonist with the Royal Signals.
Her husband Leslie, of Rowan Road, Havant, said: ‘She was due to post to Libya in 1959 but fate intervened and she was posted to Cyprus.
‘We met on a blind date on her first night. Our relationship grew and we married on July 1, 1960. The ceremony was conducted in Greek.’
The couple had two sons, Leslie and Colin. They moved to Havant in 1965 when Mr Hyson left the RAF.
It was there Mrs Hyson took an interest in local affairs when a local green was going to be concreted over to create a car park. She managed to stop it and was spurred on to stand for Leigh Park on Havant Borough Council in 1973.
She also spent 12 years on Hampshire County Council representing Barncroft and Warren Park.
There she was chairman of the recreation committee.
In 1995 Mrs Hyson became Mayor of Havant and retired from political life three years later. During her tenure she helped many people.
Mr Hyson said: ‘Ruth was active in Focus 230, the Leigh Park Work Base. She helped people with advice, raised money for a lift for a disabled man and provided Christmas party and gift boxes for single elderly people.
‘She represented the county on a number of royal visits.
‘Up until recently people would stop Ruth in the street and remind her of when she helped them and gave assistance. In some cases it was 30 years ago.
‘Ruth very much loved her family – her own early years being very disjointed.’
Mrs Hyson leaves her husband Leslie, two sons, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Ruth Hyson was born November 13, 1940 and died August 3, 2014.