A FORMER mayor of Brighton who dedicated a big part of his life serving the community has died at 90.

Ray Blackwood was mayor of the city from 1987 to 1988. He was also a Labour councillor for the Lewes Road area and later switched to Stanmer ward.

Ray is remembered for his tireless efforts in campaigning for education and bringing comprehensive learning to Brighton.

He was born on March 6, 1928, in Twickenham and studied at Hampton School.

He lived in Wales for a time as his father, who worked in the Ministry of Food, had to be relocated during the Second World War.

Ray worked in Customs and Excise and his career in politics started in the 1960s.

He met his wife Marilyn in 1973 and they married two years later. They have one daughter, Yvette.

He retired from his civil service job when he was 60 and he served one term as mayor of Brighton.

Ray was active in advocating on behalf of residents. One example was campaigning for regular opening hours at Woodingdean Library.

He was involved in many organisations such as the YMCA, Arts Council, Fabian Society, United Nations and the International Friendship League Rotary.

Ray served as a governor for Falmer High School and was a poly-linguist who spoke French, German, Spanish and Greek. Colleagues said he was a dedicated councillor who gave invaluable advice and support to new councillors.

He died on October 18 after suffering from Alzheimers for six years.

A celebration of Ray’s life takes place on Thursday at midday Woodvale Crematorium, in Lewes Road, Brighton.