Former council deputy treasurer (92) will be greatly missed

Ritchie Smith (s)
Ritchie Smith (s)

A Pendle man who spent his career working for the good of the borough has died aged 92.

Andrew Lonsdale Ritchie Smith, known as Ritchie, died on August 5th at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and his family has paid tribute to the well-known and much-loved great-grandfather.

His funeral service will be held at Skipton Crematorium at 2-10pm tomorrow and the cortege will assemble at Stott House Chapel of Rest in Burnley Road, Colne, at 1-30pm.

Mr Smith was born in 1923 and after finishing his education at Nelson Grammar School, he joined the armed forces, serving in Egypt during the Second World War.

He later worked for Nelson Town Council, then Pendle Council, for 40 years, and became Deputy Treasurer at Nelson Town Hall.

Serving the community ran in the family, as Mr Smith’s sister Janet was the last Mayor of Nelson and they were the children of Sir Andrew Smith, a former Chairman of Lancashire County Council.

Away from work, Mr Smith played cricket and football for local teams in his twenties and he was a keen and talented artist until visual problems prevented him from being able to do the hobby he loved.

He was a life-long member of the Labour Party and was very interested in politics, current affairs and environmental issues, and was appalled by global warming.

Fiercely independent, with a strong spirit, he was determined to carry on and make the most of his life and in later years would go out in all weathers to chat to people in cafés and shops.

Mr Smith was happily married to his wife Connie for 40 years before her death in 2010, and he leaves behind his two daughters Sheila and Pam, grandchildren Sarah, Jeni and Anna and great-grandchild Bea.

Paying tribute this week, Sheila said he was a “very special person” who would be greatly missed by his family and friends.

She said: “He was supportive, kind and generous, sensitive, with a keen intellect.

“He was quick-witted and loved to make people laugh and be happy. He loved to share and was always interested in others.

“He tried to bring people together and always put others first. He hated injustice and believed in equality and fairness. He gave unconditional love and he was non-judgmental.”