Engineer will be remembered for his civic service

PUBLISHED: 17:31 22 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:57 12 August 2010

A DAUGHTER has paid tribute to her wonderful father who served as a councillor for 17 years. Retired teacher Valerie Lowrie, 63,

A DAUGHTER has paid tribute to her 'wonderful' father who served as a councillor for 17 years.

Retired teacher Valerie Lowrie, 63, said she will remember her dad Derek Saunders, who died on July 14, aged 90, for his great sense of humour and his honest personality.

Engineer Mr Saunders was a Biggin Hill councillor from 1962, chairman of the Keston Village Hall Trust and sat on the Biggin Hill Airport Committee.

He was born in Lambeth but lived in the family home in Leaves Green for 48 years with his wife Joan, who died in 2006 and his two daughters Valerie and Heather.

Mrs Lowrie said: "He was great. He didn't hide anything. He was a very fair person and never took sides. That's what everybody will remember him for.

"He climbed every mountain in the Lake District. He loved climbing but when he grew too old for it he watched a lot of cricket. He was an avid supporter of Kent County Cricket Club and played it as a boy."

Mrs Lowrie registered her father's death on the same day her son Iain, 36, registered the birth of his son Finn.

She added: "It was an emotional day. One in one out. Iain is giving his eulogy at the funeral. He will remember all his funny little quirks and sayings.

"There was one time when he gave Iain a matchbox with the words 'granddad is watching you' written on it. Inside was a glass eye. In return, Iain gave him a bag of marbles with a note saying 'don't lose them.' That was his sort of sense of humour."

Mrs Lowrie said her father died peacefully at his care home in Oxted, Surrey.

His funeral takes place today at 4pm at Keston parish church in Church Road, Keston.

He is survived by two children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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