FOND tributes have been paid to a kind-spirited pensioner who went the extra mile to help his community.
Jack Carruthers has died suddenly from a stroke – just a few weeks after his wife, former Havant mayor Jane Carruthers, also died.
Both of them were honorary aldermen of Havant borough after serving in local government as independent councillors for several decades between them.
Mr Carruthers, who was 89, was a former chairman of Age Concern Cowplain and also of Havant Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
He was the last chairman of the Urban District Council of Havant and Waterlooville before it became a borough authority.
Mr Carruthers lived in Cowplain for much of his adult life and had been staying at Oakdene Rest Home in Waterlooville with his wife for the last year.
His daughter, Jane Wilkins, 66, from Horndean, said the family were in shock.
‘I think it was a broken heart,’ she said.
‘He couldn’t bear to be without mum. They were together nearly 70 years. He was absolutely devastated. It’s sad for everybody else but nice they are together.’
Mr Carruthers, a marine engineer originally from Lancashire, worked for most of his life as a lift and crane inspector. He was first elected as a councillor for Hart Plain in 1968, before becoming the ward member for Cowplain in 1980 and again in 1990.
He was also a county councillor for Hampshire and the flag will be flying at half-mast at the Winchester headquarters on the day of his funeral after Christmas.
Mr Carruthers was instrumental in getting lottery money to revamp the Age Concern Borrow Centre in Cowplain. He was a governor at Sundridge School in Waterlooville.
Mrs Wilkins added: ‘He felt he wanted to do as much as he could for the borough.
‘He was fun-loving and had a fantastic sense of humour. He could bring out the best in everybody.
‘He would always turn a negative into a positive.’
Mr Carruthers is survived by three children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
His funeral takes place on December 29 at 11am at All Saints’ Church, Denmead.