Former Suffolk Coastal chairman dies at 90 after short illness
PUBLISHED: 07:30 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:23 29 November 2019
Former Suffolk Coastal Council chairman John Geater has died after a short illness in Ipswich Hospital a few months after celebrating his 90th birthday.
Mr Geater was a founder member of the council in 1973, representing his home town Leiston as a Conservative councillor. He chaired the council in 1985/6. He remained on the authority until 2011 apart from the four-year period from 1995-99 when the Tories lost power.
He was born in Leiston and the town was his home for most of his life.
He and his family ran a smallholding for many years producing fruit and he had a major egg production plant.
Mr Geater was also a teacher at Kesgrave before moving to Leiston Grammar School, and then Leiston High School.
He and his wife June were about to celebrate their 67th wedding anniversary when he died.
His daughter Susan, who followed him on to the council for its last years, said: "He had a good, long, happy life. Looking back we had a very happy family life as we grew up."
After retiring from teaching Mr and Mrs Geater loved travelling - especially on cruises - and they continued to visit all parts of the world until recently.
He went into hospital in early November for treatment but suffered a stroke and died last week.
Susan Geater said: "The staff at the hospital were wonderful. They could not have done any more to make him comfortable."
Mr Geater leaves his widow, two daughters, and a son. His elder son, David, died last year. He also leaves six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Former Suffolk Coastal council leader Ray Herring said: "John Geater was one of the original Suffolk Coastal District councillors first elected following the 1974 local government reorganisation.
"As an experienced and respected Councillor over 33 years and a past Chairman, John was instrumental in guiding the early development of Felixstowe Port and the port health service.
"He was always an enthusiastic supporter of Nuclear power and could see the benefits of Sizewell B to the Leiston area economy and employment particularly following the demise of the Garrett Works. John's zeal and compassion for everything Leiston will be greatly missed by the local community."