TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known and respected former mayor and community leader.

Gwen Smith, 85, of Wern Road, Rhosesmor, Mold, died on Thursday after a short illness.

The former mayor of Delyn Borough Council was elected as an independent councillor in 1986 at a by-election following the death of her husband, Cllr Joe Smith.

She had also served as a Cilcain community councillor for many years until 2008 when she decided not to seek re-election.

Her son Robin, who succeeded her and is currently chairman of the Cilcain Community Council, said: “She had a passion for her community and worked with a strong sense of justice and common sense with little regard for party politics.

“She was not afraid to speak her mind and was particularly interested in protecting the environment from over development.

“From a young age, she had always been involved in community work. She was a former secretary of the Parochial Church Council for St John’s Church in Rhydymwyn, a past member of the Rhydymwyn War Memorial Institute Committee, past president of the Rhydymwyn Women’s Institute, and a past governor of Ysgol y Ddol.”

During her mayoral year of 1992-93, she visited Japan and welcomed Her Majesty the Queen to Flint for the opening of the new Kimberly Clark factory and was honoured to represent the Queen at a celebratory banquet.

She married in 1949 having met her fireman husband while working as a part-time volunteer switchboard operator for the fire service at Mold.

Mrs Smith leaves three children, Ann, Robin and Kay, and two grandchildren, Jonathan and Pascha.

Her daughter Ann said: “She will be sadly missed not only by her family but by the whole community. She was loved and respected by so many people.”

The funeral will take place at St. John’s Church, Rhydymwyn, on Thursday at 1pm followed by burial in the churchyard.