Tributes have been paid to a former councillor and union stalwart who has passed away after a short battle with cancer.
Elio Gomez, 75, was a Labour borough councillor for Highfield and St Paul’s and a member of the party for more than 30 years before leaving to stand as an independent candidate in 2009.
Leader of Dacorum Borough Council Andrew Williams said: “He was very committed to working hard to represent whoever it was he was representing, whether as a union rep or as a councillor helping his ward constituents.”
Mr Gomez, of Livingstone Walk, Hemel Hempstead, started his borough council career sweeping the streets of Berkhamsted and climbed the ranks to become purchasing officer. He was also a council Unison representative championing the rights of workers, and had been both chairman and secretary of the Dacorum branch.
He was an experienced school governor, a member of the Highfield Community Association and played the part of Santa each Christmas at the community centre.
The Gibraltar-born husband to Vera, father of five daughters and grandfather to seven, passed away on Tuesday, April 2 at the Hospice of St Francis.
Daughter Krystyna Gomez said: “He was an absolutely amazing and wonderful man and all he did was help people. He lived for helping others.”
Hemel Hempstead Labour Party chairman Dominic Hook said: “He was well liked and will be missed by many.”
Mr Gomez’s funeral is at St Mary and St Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Boxmoor tomorrow from 11am followed by cremation at The North Chapel, West Herts Crematorium in Garston at 12.40pm. Family flowers only are requested but donations can be made to the Hospice of St Francis via www.memorygiving.com/eliogomez or Neville Funeral Service, 75 Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, 01442 252395.