‘He just loved the town’ – Daughter of former Letchworth town councillor pays tribute to a generous man who achieved so much

Former Letchworth town councillor Derek Hodgson has died aged 89.

Former Letchworth town councillor Derek Hodgson has died aged 89. - Credit: Archant

The daughter of a former town councillor whose passion for Letchworth helped reinvigorate him in later life has paid tribute to a ‘kind, generous and funny’ man.

The funeral of Derek Hodgson was held at St George’s Church yesterday, just over three weeks after his death at the age of 89.

Derek – who served on Letchworth Garden City Council after its formation in 2005 and fought to save it before it was wound up in 2013 – had been admitted to hospital in October with a chest infection, with his health deteriorating over time.

His daughter Jeanette has paid tribute to her dad, whose many achievements include setting up the Letchworth in Bloom competition and throwing his weight behind the campaign to save the town’s Brotherhood Hall, the fitting venue for his wake.

“He lived in Letchworth all his life and just loved the town,” said Jeanette, who lives in Icknield Way.

“If you cut him in half you would see Letchworth Garden City throughout, it meant that much to him. He always wanted things to be fair and right for Letchworth.

“I was worried about how he would cope without my mum Joan after she died in 2003, but he started getting more involved with the Letchworth community and that gave him a new lease of life.

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“We will always be grateful for the many good friends that he found through working for the causes that he cared about.

“He would produce newsletters, set up petitions, organise meetings and begin new campaigns – which also kept his family busy.

“His first love was his family, who will remember him as the kind, generous and funny man that he was. He always had time to spend and a tale to tell.

“He was very proud of his three grandchildren, Donna, Lee and Christopher, his six great-grandsons, two great-granddaughters and three great-great granddaughters – who will all miss him greatly.”

Derek, who went to Westbury and Pixmore schools in his youth, was well known for coming up with ideas and set up his own business with a colleague called Compressors Ltd, with his son-in-law Richard working alongside him for many years.

Among those to speak at Derek’s funeral were former town council chairman and mayor Philip Ross and fellow campaigner Pauline Worland, who runs the Cheap As Chips food initiative to help the vulnerable.

A collection was held for Letchworth Fairtrade, another of Derek’s passions.

If you would like to make a donation call EH Crouch funeral directors on 01462 682868.