John Foran, who was a Conservative councillor for 16 years, has died following a suspected heart attack.
He was widely respected as a gentleman and a politician with integrity and common sense.
He represented the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe ward from 1990 until 2006, and was a former deputy leader of Calderdale Council.
For many years he was the chairman of the finance and planning committees, and chairman of the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe Conservative Association.
He had been a director of the West Central Halifax Partnership regeneration board, the Halifax Town Centre working party and the Halifax Borough Market group.
Calderdale Council’s Conservative group leader Stephen Baines said Mr Foran had been a highly respected councillor and a valued member of the Conservative group.
He had also been a governor at St Joseph’s Junior and Infant School, Hove Edge, and was an honorary member of Queensbury and Shelf Round Table.
Mr Foran was born at Hipperholme and went to schools in Halifax and Brighouse, including the former Halifax Technical College.
After serving a six year apprenticeship with Asquith Machine Tools of Halifax, at the age of 21 he joined the merchant navy and became the youngest ever first officer on the Cunard line.
He met his wife, Brenda, in 1965 and because he was almost permanently at sea, they didn’t marry until 1973.
He went on to become a director of Fees Construction at Beacon Hill, Halifax and later a director of Elliot Crane and Plant Hire, at Cromwell Bottom, Brighouse.
Mr Foran had a life-long interest in motoring and an active involvement in motor sports.
He began his racing career with a 999cc Mini, entering local speed climbs and sprints.
He went on to win many trophies and competitions, including the Northern GT Championship in 1984.
Mr Foran and his wife, Brenda, have two daughters, Jane and Claire, a son John-Paul and a grand-daughter Celia.
A requiem mass will take place at St Alban’s Church, Huddersfield Road, Halifax, on Friday, November 18, at 12.15pm, followed by a private cremation service at Park Wood, Elland