Plymouth City Council is sad to announce the death of Alderman and former Lord Mayor and Councillor, Ronald Simmonds, who was also a Second World War veteran.
Alderman Simmonds died on Saturday 24 January aged 93 and spent 28 years as a Councillor for the Budshead Ward of Plymouth from 1979, before becoming an Alderman in 2007.
A funeral service is being held at the Minster Church of St Andrew on Friday 20 February at 12pm followed by a private cremation at Weston Mill. The Council flag is being flown at half-mast until sunset on the day of the funeral.
Alderman Simmonds joined the Territorial Army and was called up in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War, serving in the Royal Corps of Signals, attached to various tank Brigades and Armoured Divisions.
As well as being Lord Mayor of Plymouth from 1992-93, Alderman Simmonds served on a number of Council committees, including as Chair of Plymouth Citybus, Chair of the Hospitality and Twinning Committee, Vice-Chair of the Constitutional Review Panel, and Vice-Chair of the Budshead, Honicknowle and Southway Area Committee.
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “I am very sad to hear of the death of Alderman Ronald Simmonds.
“He was a very dedicated local councillor, serving Plymouth for almost 30 years before becoming an Alderman. He was also a very active member of the local Labour party and will be sorely missed.
“I am also eternally grateful for the time he spent serving his country during the Second World War serving in the Royal Corps of Signals with the Tank Regiment.”
It was whilst he was stationed at Ochtrup near Gronau on the German Dutch border that he first met Helene. Romance blossomed and they married soon after the war.
Alderman Simmonds also trained as a bricklayer with A.N. Coles Ltd and worked for local building contractors and national contractors working in the Plymouth area.
He also joined the Central Electricity Generating Board in 1964 and was Shop Steward for the UCATT Trade Union and Part-Time Branch Secretary.
Outside of this Alderman Simmonds was also the Chair of Governors at Woodfield Primary School and a member of the Whitleigh Community Centre Management Committee and Budshead Trust. He was also a member of the Council’s Planning Committee, Licencing Committee, and the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Committee.
His interests included football, rugby, tennis, snooker and horse-racing, and traditional jazz and 1940s music. He also loved gardening, DIY and crosswords.
He was married to Helene and leaves behind a daughter, Monika, a son, Martin, and his wife Diane. He had 5 grandchildren Sharon, Grant, Richard, Neil and David, and six great grandchildren, Danni, Millie, Connor, James, Leo and Aarav.