Hundreds of local residents gathered at Whickham’s St Mary’s Church on Wednesday 11th June for the funeral service of Councillor Alan Ord.
Alan had been admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in mid May for an operation.
Everything seemed to be fine after the operation and he was able to go home at the end of the month. But a couple of days later, with complications setting in, he had to be readmitted to hospital. He passed away on Monday 2nd June.
Alan’s wife, Councillor Marilynn Ord, their two sons Andrew and Arran, and their five grandchildren are devastated by the loss.
Alan was chairman of Marley Hill School Governors and of Marley Hill Community Centre. He was also a governor of Fellside Primary School.
He was first elected to Gateshead Council in 1988 and has since been re-elected by local residents five times, the most recent being last month.
Alan was also deputy leader of the Opposition on Gateshead Council and had previously led the Opposition on Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority.
The great number of letters, cards and emails of support sent in response to Alan’s death, and the huge number of people who attended his funeral, are testimony to his popularity and hard work as a councillor.
Councillor Jonathan Wallace said, "Alan was my colleague representing local people on Gateshead Council for 20 years. He was a great friend and I am deeply shocked and saddened that he is no longer with us.
"He was a hard working councillor who had dedicated the last twenty years to serving the people of Whickham, Sunniside, Marley Hill, Byermoor and Streetgate. He will be greatly missed."
Alan had undergone an emergency operation in October 2005 following a serious case of food poisoning. He bounced back to health and was back into his council duties three months later.
Tributes have been paid from across politics. Labour Leader of Gateshead Council Mick Henry said, "I know I speak for everyone on Gateshead Council when saying he will be greatly missed."
Councillor Noel Rippeth, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Gateshead Council, said, "Alan was a larger than life figure who loved making people smile and laugh. Yet at the same time he was a dedicated public servant and worked tirelessly for his constituents."