Tributes paid to a wonderful Longridge lady and campaigner

'A wonderful lady', 'a hard act to follow' and 'a voice for older people in the Ribble Valley'.

Just three of the many tributes paid to former Lancashire County Councillor Mary Wilson-White, who has died at the age of 83.

With the county for 12 years and Ribble Valley borough for eight years, Mrs Wilson-White was an active and popular figure in several spheres of county life.

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Her profession was nursing, training at the then Preston Royal Infirmary to gain her nursing qualifications, continuing at Blackburn Hospital before becoming a district nurse and then director of Community Nursing Services for Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, a position she held for 15 years.

She was inspired to enter politics through her friend and retiring Preston councillor Chris Holtom, standing first for county and then borough councils.

Among her many roles, she served as shadow portfolio holder for adult health and social care for the county council and chairwoman of Ribble Valley social services liaison committee.

Paying tribute, county and borough Councillor David Smith said: “When Mary retired as county councillor for Longridge and Bowland in 2009, I was fortunate to be elected to take her place. Mary was a hard act to follow, and will be fondly remembered throughout, from Longridge and Slaidburn.”

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Mrs Wilson-White continued her community work with Ribble Valley Seniors Forum, and was on the board of Crossroads Care Ribble Valley.

Forum chairman David White said: “Mary joined with her husband Patrick in 2009, became a much valued member, helping to make the Forum a voice for older people throughout the Ribble Valley.

“Mary was a wonderful lady, a great loss not only to our Forum members but to everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.”

Crossroads chairman Tom McLean added: “Mary is remembered as always conscientious and helpful, bringing thoughtful work to Crossroads Care as a trustee.

“She was a valuable colleague.”

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Born in Hurst Green, Mrs Wilson-White went to Clitheroe Grammar School, obtained a masters degree at Lancaster University and, following divorce from her first husband David Wilson, she married Patrick White from Ireland and they settled in Longridge.

She leaves her husband, three of her four children, 12 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. Her funeral was held yesterday at St John’s Church in Hurst Green.