TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Sunderland city councillor who has died after a stroke.
Norman Bohill served as a Conservative councillor for the Fulwell ward for 22 years, before he stepped down in 2008.
The popular 83-year-old died on Wednesday.
Former council colleagues spoke of their respect for Mr Bohill’s tireless work during his two decades as a councillor.
Mr Bohill’s wife of 55 years, Brenda, told the Echo her husband had been proud to represent the people of Fulwell.
She said: “We moved to the area in 1958, and he became a councillor some years later.
“He spent all his time working in the ward. He was very well known and proud to represent Fulwell.
“He felt he belonged to Fulwell and by the time he finished, he really did.
“He was not just a Conservative, he was for everyone.” Brenda said her husband, a teacher who was also a governor at Seaburn Dene Primary School, had enjoyed a number of hobbies.
“He dabbled in everything, pottery, glass blowing,” she said.
“He painted hedgehogs in the garden, putting spots on them to see where they came from and where they were going.
“The first time he tried glass blowing, he sucked instead of blowing and had blisters on his lips for days.
“One of his best traits was his kindness. He was a very, very kind man.”
Councillor Robert Oliver, leader of the Conservative group at Sunderland Council, led his party’s tributes.
“Norman Bohill was a popular and respected councillor who served the people of Fulwell ward for many years, and was very well known in the area. He was admired in the council chamber for the fearless expression of his views and the diligence with which he represented his constituents.”
Coun Peter Wood added: “One thing that stands out is the election in 2004, when the whole council was up for election.
“It was very tight across the city, but Norman topped his poll by several hundred votes.
“I think that underlines the hard work he had done and the respect there was for him.”
Council leader Paul Watson said: “Our thoughts and best wishes are with his family at this difficult time.
“Norman served his community for many years and was a respected opponent who contributed a lot to council debates and committees.
“I’m sure his former political colleagues and many friends will join me in paying tribute to his years of public service.”