Tributes have poured in for much-loved Stedham villager Eddie Lintott, who died last month at home surrounded by his family.
Eddie, who was born in Stedham and lived there throughout his life, spent more than 50 years working tirelessly as a voluntary leader of community life.
In April last year he received a special certificate of achievement from West Sussex County Council for his ‘outstanding’ contribution to his community when he chaired his last annual parish meeting of Stedham with Iping Parish Council.
Former chairman and long-standing parish councillor Chris Morgan and Jane Crawford, who was involved with the parish council as a member and clerk for 39 years, said: “Eddie’s record of 52 years on the parish council, 11 as vice-chairman and 20 as chairman in five stints, is unlikely ever to be surpassed.
“His advice and historical knowledge were invaluable and of huge benefit. He was exceptional in all the work he did.
“The British Empire Medal and West Sussex County Council Certificate of Achievement awarded to Eddie were never more thoroughly deserved.
“He managed to bring together the whole parish for the common cause and we are all so lucky to have had the benefit of his great energy, enthusiasm, expertise, and sense of humour for over half a century. He will be enormously missed.”
Eddie, who was diagnosed with cancer more than three years ago, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on Monday, August 17, aged 77.
He married Janet and the couple brought their daughters Caroline and Julia up in the village.
As a young man Eddie played for the village football and cricket teams and sang in the church choir. He was a chartered surveyor and auctioneer all his working life, rising to lead the King and Chasemore operation in Midhurst.
He was also chairman of governors at Stedham Primary School and helped to ensure its survival when it was under threat.
Former headteacher of Stedham Primary School and president of the Midhurst and Petworth Rotary Club, Hazel Morley said: “I first met Eddie at an interview for the post of headteacher at Stedham Primary School in 2002. He was the chair of governors and his love of Stedham was immediately apparent. I had the pleasure of working with him over the next eight years when he was a regular visitor to the school – always interested in the children’s learning and their everyday activities. He loved coming to watch the school at work.
“As a result of his support and his outstanding energy and enthusiasm, the school evaded proposals for amalgamation or closure and reached high levels of achievement, becoming well-known as a much-valued asset to the community.
“When I retired from teaching, he encouraged me to join the Rotary Club, where he was an active and enthusiastic member until recent months. Our Rotary Club thrives on a mixture of fellowship and service and Eddie was an excellent Rotarian in every way.
“He was a friend, a mentor and a very special member of the Stedham and Rotary community, who will be greatly missed.”