FAMILY and friends of a respected Labour stalwart have paid tribute to the man who dedicated his life to trying to make the world a better place.
Raymond Hill (84), of Pen Y Ghent Way, Barnoldswick, died suddenly following a stroke at Thornton Hill Care Home. His life was celebrated at St Joseph’s Church on Tuesday where he was remembered for his sense of fun and passion for politics.
Raymond was born in Darwen and it was after completing his National Service during the war that he became interested in politics and trade unions.
He served West Craven as a Labour councillor in the 1960s and 70s, town council mayor and school governor for St Joseph’s, and was also a member of the Catenian Association, a social organisation for Catholic men in business.
Daughter Helen Frostick said: “He was never happier than when he was sorting out other people’s problems and was a mentor to many.”
Raymond was also interested in business and helped form Lancashire Enterprises Ltd, now EDS, to nurture young firms. He served as a director until he passed away.
Raymond met the love of his life Barbara ballroom dancing in Haslingden. They married in 1958 and first lived in Rochdale where they welcomed their first daughter Margaret. They moved to Barnoldswick in 1961 and had two more children, Helen and Peter.
Both Clarets fans, they were vice presidents of the football club and for a time were joint owners of the racehorse, Up the Clarets.
Raymond and Barbara enjoyed happy holidays caravanning, especially in Lovran, Croatia, and Helen said he especially liked spending time with his grandchildren Katie, Jack, Charlotte and Matthew.
Barbara sadly died in December 2007.
Helen paid tribute to her dad, saying: “We will miss his laughing the most. He was really good at giving advice and was sweet and sensitive. He would always make sure everyone else was ok first. He wanted the best for this area and wanted it to be the best it could be, especially in nurturing the talent of young people.”
There’s more on this amazing man in Friday’s Barnoldswick & Earby Times