TRIBUTES have been paid to a former mayor and teacher, who fulfilled a £10,000 charity pledge the day before he died.
Gordon Paton, 71, was three times Mayor of Stowmarket as well as a geography and outdoor pursuits teacher at Ipswich School.
He had been raising funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association after completing a 192-mile walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay, in Yorkshire, with friends and family.
Mr Paton, who suffered from the disease, reached his £10,000 goal the day before he died.
His widow Eve said: “It’s a remarkable achievement and one to be remembered.
“He was a true gentleman and servant of the community.”
Mr Paton, who moved to Stowmarket in 1971, was a member of the town council for 29 years and was vice-chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council. He was also chairman of Stowmarket and District Scouting Association and chairman of the Blue Badge tourist guides in Bury St Edmunds.
During his civic career, he was Mayor of Stowmarket from 1983-84, 1995-96 and 2004-05.
He was also a governor at three schools in the town.
Mrs Paton added: “His biggest hobby was golf.
“He was very competitive and enjoyed the sport enormously and walking outdoors.
“When the children were old enough, we climbed a mountain every holiday.
“He introduced us to the big outdoors.”
Cllr Poppy Robinson, Mayor of Stowmarket, said: “He was a gentleman who was committed to giving 100 per cent to any matter which he was involved with.
“I became a town councillor in 2003 and within a short time he had become my friend and mentor.
“I will personally miss him and he will be very much missed by all the community and beyond.”
Mr Paton leaves four children Andrew, Clare, Catherine and Lizzy and four grandchildren Millie, Noah, Jessica and Joe.
His funeral is on Thursday, January 6, at Needham Market Parish Church at 1pm.