Farewell to ‘caring’ father and former councillor Ray

Well-loved: Ray Johnson is pictured with wife Veronica
Well-loved: Ray Johnson is pictured with wife Veronica
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A former councillor, described by his family as “intelligent, hard-working, caring and capable”, has died.

Ray Johnson, who had been a Conservative councillor for Preston’s Rural East ward until 1990, died in hospital last month.

During that time he loved the excitement as well as the decision making this involved and made many good friends on the council.

Now his family and fellow councillors have paid tribute to Mr Johnson, and a minute’s silence was held in Preston’s council chamber as a mark of respect.

His daughter Emma, 36, said: “Ray had a very deep love for his home town of Preston, spending 15 years serving it as a Preston Rural East councillor and as a Grimsargh parish councillor for many years.

“During that time he loved the excitement as well as the decision making this involved and made many good friends on the council.

“He loved living in the countryside and spent many happy hours gardening and doing DIY at our houses.

“Ray was involved in the original campaign to save Preston Bus Station.

“Ray loved to read and never stopped wanting to learn new things, plan and problem solve to his very last day.

“He will be hugely missed by us as a family leaving a huge hole in our lives.

“However we are just so very grateful to have had the opportunity to love and be loved by such an intelligent, hardworking, caring and capable man.”

Mr Johnson lived in Grimsargh and then Ribbleton with his wife Veronica, and they had two children, Sam and Emma.

He died in Royal Preston Hospital on February 22, aged 70.

He was elected to the council in 1976 and retired in 1990, and was vice chairman of the housing committee from 1976 to 1980.

Coun Neil Cartwright, who served alongside Mr Johnson in the 1980s, said: “Ray Johnson was a very quiet man, but there was a bit more to him.

“He was very softly spoken and I think people assumed he was a very shy person, but he was a very bright chap.

“He had a lot of ideas. Politically, he was one of our thinkers rather than one of our doers.”

Coun Cartwright described Mr Johnson as a “very thoughtful person”.

He said: “He was a nice man, he was a good man.

“He thought very deeply and believed very deeply in what he was doing.

“He was the ideas man of the party.

“He was a nice, softly spoken, under-stated chap.

“His style was to be there supporting, coming up with ideas and doing the research.”