Tributes paid after Forest councillor's death
FOREST councillor Helen Stewart was "kind, caring and brave", said her daughter, who has paid tribute to her after her mum died on Monday.
The stalwart Labour district councillor for Berry Hill died aged 65 after a sudden return of the cancer she had battled on and off for two years.
The death has left her husband Selvy, three daughters, one son and four grandchildren shocked.
Her daughter Mikela Lowthian said: "She was a kind, caring and brave woman.
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"She was born in Yorkshire but my grandmother returned to Berry Hill where my great-grandfather had been the chaplain at the Salem Chapel.
"Berry Hill has always been her spiritual home.
"She was very dedicated to the community right until the end.
"It was all a bit of a shock when she fell ill again because it all happened so quickly."
Mrs Stewart had spent around four weeks in hospital.
Fellow councillors on Forest of Dean District Council said she will be recognised for campaigning for the Berry Hill community. Councillor Di Martin, leader of the Labour group, said: "She was a stalwart of the Labour party and her trade union and she will be sadly missed.
"She worked really hard and was very keen on equality issues. She earned the respect of a lot of people."
Councillor Norman Stephens, chairman of the council, said special tributes would be paid to her at the next full council meeting on October 11.
She had been first elected in 1999 but lost her seat in 2007. She was re-elected in 2011.
Mrs Stewart also enjoyed a career as a pub landlord. She ran the Berry Hill Social Club for some time but also worked on the assembly line at Xerox and as a care assistant during her working life.
Her funeral is being held on September 25 at 11.30am at the Salem Chapel followed by the Forest of Dean Crematorium at 12.30pm.