Family and colleagues have spoken of their shock at the death of former councillor David Mason who died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage.
Heartbroken partner Jeanette Lord said he was her ‘soul mate’ and that he had been looking forward to his first Christmas as a grandfather.
Mr Mason, 63, became ill while working at his daughter’s hairdressing business in Blackburn last Thursday.
He was rushed to Royal Blackburn Hospital but died at 2pm on Friday, November 30.
His partner of 42-years, Jeanette, said she has been left ‘absolutely devastated’ by his death.
She said: “He was just doing some work upstairs and shouted for me.
“It was a massive bleed in his brain. They had him in intensive care but the bleed was so bad they couldn’t save him.
“It was completely out of the blue. I was with him right until the end.”
The ex-Independent in Hyndburn group leader served as councillor in the Overton ward in Great Harwood for 11 years.
Mr Mason, of Kingsway, previously worked as an electrical fitter at Norweb before becoming self-employed.
He was also a former landlord of the Park Hotel pub in Great Harwood.
Jeanette, 61, said he was ‘delighted’ by the birth of his first grandchild Alexandra in March and was a ‘passionate and caring’ man.
She said: “He was the first to hold her. She was the apple of his eye and it’s very sad that he won’t be here for her first Christmas.
He would help anybody and that’s why he was an Independent.
“He worked for the people of Great Harwood and not just a party.
“We were planning what we would do in two years time when we retired but all that’s gone now.”
Hyndburn council leader Miles Parkinson said he was a popular councillor.
He said: “It’s always tragic to hear something like this so close to Christmas. Our thoughts go out to his family at this time.”
Tory group leader Peter Britcliffe said he will be ‘sadly missed’ by the people of Great Harwood, while Independent councillor Nick Collingridge said his sudden death came as a ‘great shock’.
Mr Mason leaves his partner Jeanette Lord, daughter Maxine Lord and grandaughter Alexandra Lord.
A funeral service will be held at St Bartholomew’s Church in Great Harwood at 1pm on Monday, December 10, followed by a private burial at Pleasington Cemetery and a celebration of his life at Sparth House Hotel in Clayton-le-Moors.