Tributes paid after death of former Woodbridge mayor

Former mayor of Woodbridge Neil Montgomery

Former mayor of Woodbridge Neil Montgomery - Credit: James Montgomery

Tributes have been paid to a former Suffolk mayor who died after testing positive for coronavirus, alongside a number of other health problems.

Neil Montgomery, the former mayor of Woodbridge, died last month at the age of 89 and was said to be someone who "knew how to live well". 

Mr Montgomery was born in Cheshire in 1931. 

Earlier in his career, he worked for BP in a job that saw him travel around the world to countries like Canada and Morocco.  

It was a job at Howards, in Bury St Edmunds, that brought the family to Suffolk.   

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He and his family first lived in Wattisfield, near Bury St Edmunds, before moving to Woodbridge in 1995.  

It was in Woodbridge that Mr Montgomery was to become particularly well-known.  

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He was a very active member of the community, working as a volunteer at Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge Rugby Club and the Woodbridge Society among others.  

He also served on Woodbridge Town Council and had a spell as mayor between 2003 and 2004.  

It was during his time as mayor that Mr Montgomery made one of his biggest contributions to the town.  

“While he was mayor, he was closely involved in the building of a skate park in Woodbridge,” said his son, James Montgomery.  

“It always gave him pleasure to see it being used whenever he took the dog for a walk on Kingston Fields or the riverfront.”

Skateboarders in a fundraising event at Woodbridge Skatepark in 2011 Picture: SIMON PARKER

Woodbridge skatepark was an important part of Mr Montgomery's time as mayor

Mr Montgomery died on January 11, leaving behind his wife Jane and his three children.   

“My father was an educated man, widely travelled and well read, who knew how to live well,” said James. 

“He lived a very full and fortunate life.” 

Suffolk county councillor for Woodbridge, Caroline Page, also paid tribute to Mr Montgomery.

"It was so enjoyable going around canvassing and leafleting with him and his slightly badly behaved boxer Finsbury," said Ms Page. 

"He was loved by everyone and so many people from across the political spectrum are paying tribute to him."

A minute's silence was held to Mr Montgomery at Woodbridge Town Council's meeting last week. 

A funeral for family only will be held on February 5.  

Anyone who wishes to make a donation in Mr Montgomery’s name should do so to the RNLI.  

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