Obituary: Norman Smith MBE

Date published: 05 January 2017

Norman Smith MBE died at the age of 84 on Wednesday (4 January) at Rochdale Infirmary after a long illness.

He was born on 22 March 1932 and leaves behind his wife Shirley, daughter Christine, son Craig, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

The youngest of three children, Mr Smith was brought up on Falinge Road, where he shared a house with his older brother Cyril, older sister Eunice, and their mother and grandmother. He lived in the Rochdale Borough until his death.

Mr Smith was Mayor of Rochdale between 1986-1987 and was also a councillor for the Spotland ward for over 25 years.

His previous occupations included leading ambulance man of Heywood, chauffeur, running his own taxi business, and running his own corner shop. He completed National Service in the 1950s.

Mr Smith received an MBE from the Queen on 31 December 1991 for public service. He was also awarded Freeman of the Borough on 23 June 2004.

His hobbies included playing table tennis for Rochdale and Lancashire and supporting Rochdale Football Club. He played football for Rochdale Unitarian Church in his younger years.

Son Craig said: “He will be sadly missed by family, friends, constituents and ex-colleagues.”

Councillor Ashley Dearnley said: “Norman was a greatly respected local councillor who put the interest of his constituents first with great integrity. He was a gentleman who will be missed.”

Councillor Allen Brett said: “I knew Norman for over 20 years and he always tried his best for the people of Rochdale.”

Councillor Andy Kelly said: “Although Norman Smith served on the council before my time, his reputation, passion and commitment to the people of Spotland and Falinge, and of Rochdale as a whole, preceded him. He will be sadly missed; he was a passionate and committed servant. My thoughts are with his family.

Dale Mulgrew said: “My memory of Norman is one of a no-nonsense northerner who possessed an unwavering sense of public service.

“He had a firm devotion to Rochdale and a real bond with the Spotland area of the town, which he represented for many years on Rochdale Council.”

Details of the funeral arrangements are yet to be made.

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