Tributes have poured in for the first woman to be given the freedom of Telford & Wrekin. Iris Butler has died at the age of 93.
Mrs Butler was given the freedom of the borough in May 2002 alongside former boxing champion Richie Woodhall.
Mrs Butler gave more than 25 years of her life to public service, including a spell as chairman of the former Wrekin District Council and Oakengates Town Council, and was also a magistrate.
She died peacefully at the St Georges Park Care Home, in St Georges, on September 7. Her daughter Lynn Scott, from Telford, said: “She’s had a lifetime of public service. She was a councillor at Oakengates or Wrekin councils from 1960 to 1997. You could say she was one of the founding members of Telford new town, really.”
The proposal speech for Mrs Butler’s freedom said she represented the ‘heroic generation which came through war and austerity to build something better’.
Councillor John Minor, who was Mrs Butler’s running mate for several elections in their St Georges ward, said his career in politics was down to her.
“She basically spent many, many years of her life in public service,” he said. “There was a saying in the town that if you had any problems, go and see Iris. Whatever help anyone needed, whether it was with the local government or a personal thing, she would be there to help.
“From working with her, everything I have done and accomplished in my political career, through her encouragement and suggestions, was down to Iris.”
Her son Graham said: “She finished her time in a care home at St Georges Park, who were really good. They cared for her and made her passing as bearable and as comfortable as possible.”
The funeral is at St George’s Church on September 21 at 2pm.
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