TRIBUTES were paid to former Thornbury councillor and regional council chairman Dennis Fox at his funeral on Friday.

The prolific leader and active community member died on Wednesday, June 4, aged 85.

He had lived in Tockington for 30 years.

In addition to his career in medicine, Dr Fox MBE served in local government for over 30 years as a parish and district councillor.

He was chairman of Thornbury Rural District Council and then went on to lead Northavon District Council.

During his years in politics Dr Fox chaired the youth committee and was at the helm of major developments in the district during 15 years as chairman of the planning committee.

This was during the period when Aztec West and Bradley Stoke were built, Cribbs Causeway was developed and the Mall planned.

John Cope, Baron Cope of Berkeley, was MP for Northavon (now South Gloucestershire) from 1974 to 1997 and said Dr Fox had been an outstanding and influential council leader.

“He worked hard and successfully to attract businesses and jobs to the North Bristol Fringe at a time when the City of Bristol was not business friendly,” explained Baron Cope.

“When I am in South Gloucestershire now, full of enterprising businesses and with so many new homes, it is difficult to recall how it was 40 years ago and he made those changes happen.

“His vision and leadership made the biggest difference to the prosperity of the area.”

Born in Knowle in 1928, Dr Fox attended Bristol Grammar School and studied medicine at Bristol University.

His medical career saw him practicing in Filton, Patchway and Almondsbury and after retirement Dr Fox spent six years as a non-executive director of Frenchay Hospital Authority.

He married Pamela Herwig at Totterdown Baptist Church in August 1952 and over 60 years the couple had three children, Elizabeth, Roger and Alison, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Daughter Alison said her father was a caring person who always had time for everyone.

"He was full of life and energy, interested in many things and good at them," she told the Gazette. "He lived life to the full and was devoted to his family.

"He was a tremendous role model of what a good, kind person should be. I am very proud to be able to call him my father."

His local involvement knew no bounds with Dr Fox also chairman of the governors of Patchway High School, a governor of Filton Technical College and New Siblands School and opened many local buildings including St Mary’s Way in Thornbury.

Dr Fox was honoured by being appointed a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1983 for services to local government. He was also appointed as an Honorary Alderman in the District of Northavon in 1991.

A committed Christian, Dr Fox was a lay preacher and organist in several Baptist churches, was a freemason for more than 50 years and Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Bristol for over 13 years.

His funeral took place at St Mary’s Church, Olveston last week.