TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Leamington Mayor who has died after a long illness.
Norman Parker battled Parkinsons disease and dementia for eight years but passed away on Saturday (July 25).
Born in Derbyshire, Mr Parker was called up for National Service just after the war, where he worked with soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress.
He then joined the police before taking a job in sales, which saw him move to Leamington.
He was a Conservative councillor in the town’s Willes Ward for around 20 years, before being elected as Chair of Warwick District Council in 1978.
He then became Mayor in 1981 – a position that saw him help local sports clubs close to his heart due to his love of football and boxing.
During that time, he founded Edmondscote Sports Trust and even used funds from his own recently established cleaning company ParPak to sponsor local teams.
Daughter Caroline said: ” He was keen to support youth clubs, believing sport was a means of developing young people and giving them purpose and pride.
“When public funds couldn’t help he used his company ParPak to provide sponsorship for them.
“His imagination came up with many schemes intended to put the town on the map and make it a better place to live in.”
After standing down from the council, he opened party and balloon business ParPak Partytime on Gloucester Street, which finally closed its doors in 2009.
The former Mayor was well-known for his interest in Leamington First World War hero Henry Tandy, whose medals he collected over the years.
The family now plan to permanently loan the items to the Leamington Spa Museum.
Daughter Caroline said: “He was one of Leamington’s most dedicated champions and loved the town.
“His death was the end of a long and painful journey with dementia and Parkinsons, but one where he never lost his determination, imagination and humour.”
Mr Parker moved to Northumberland during the last few years of his life and in addition to Caroline, leaves behind children Julie and Lindy along with several grandchildren and a great grandchild.