A FORMER Southend mayor described as “one of the kindest and most supportive men” has sadly passed away.

Ron Price, who grew up in Southend and spent his life dedicated to supporting the community in the city, died last week aged 85.

Alongside serving as a councillor in the city, Ron was also an active Rotarian and was a leading member of both Southend and Leigh Rotary clubs.

Throughout his life, he was keen to support charities and that commitment was recognised when he was awarded Southend Citizen of the Year and the Paul Harris Fellowship - honouring people who have made significant contributions to the Rotary Foundation.

In 2016 he was awarded the Honorary Alderman by Southend Council - the highest award that can be made to a former councillor in recognition of exceptional service.

His wife of 32 years, Janice, paid a moving tribute to him saying: “Ron was one of the kindest and most supportive men I have ever met. He had a keen sense of what is right and would never hesitate to support that view.

“He was an active sportsman in his day, enjoyed his time as councillor and mayor, and enjoyed our many rotary activities. He will be sadly missed by friends and family.”

One of Ron’s his greatest honour was being elected Mayor of Southend in 2006/7, which he described as a privilege.

Alongside his wife, they raised an impressive £106,000 for the Southend Hospital cardiac unit.

Born September 5, 1938, Ron began his education at Bournemouth Park Road School, where he would later become the head boy in 1949.

A year later, he attended Southend High for Boys where he excelled in sports, particularly football, cricket, and cross-country running.

Cricket was his true love, taking around 1500 wickets and scoring three centuries - playing until the age of 42.

His community involvement was prevalent throughout his life as he became an active member of the Southend Rotary Club, serving as the club’s president twice before joining Leigh Rotary Club and again serving as president twice.

He furthered his charitable endeavours by organising Quiz Nights across the borough since 1986.

A family spokesman added: “To the day he died, he loved his life with his wife, Janice and children Kevin, Matthew and Kate, stepdaughter Vanessa, their spouses, grandchildren and greatgrandson.”