TRIBUTES have been paid to a former mayor and "devoted" family man who served as chair of Denbighshire County Council.

Ken Hawkins died on Monday, August 7. The father had celebrated his 87th birthday on August 5. 

Mr Hawkins was well-known throughout the community of Ruthin. He was described as a "gentle, caring person" by fellow councillors and a man that was "devoted" to his late wife Dwynwen and to his daughter Sara, his son Peter and their families. 

Mr Hawkins served as mayor three times, in 1997, 2000 and 2005.

Anne Roberts, mayor of Ruthin, described the late councillor as a man who was "proud of Ruthin."

She said: "Ken was a colleague on Ruthin Town Council for a number of years. He went about his business in a quiet but effective manner, he was a very knowledgeable person and therefore an asset to us as councillors.

"To sum Ken up, two words come to mind - ‘real gentleman’. I have seen those words used many times in tributes to Ken on social media, by those who knew him."

Mr Hawkins, a "practical and compassionate" member of the trustees of the Almshouses, served as verger for many years at his "beloved" church - St Peter's.

The church played "a huge part" in his life. 

Reverend Stuart Evans, former warden of St Peter’s, Ruthin, recognised Mr Hawkins's "faithfulness" to the church, in his time acting as a member of the choir, church warden, PCC member and verger.

Cllr Emrys Wynne, who represents Ruthin on Denbighshire County Council, said: "Ken was a true gentleman and would go out of his way to help others.

"As well as being Ruthin Town Mayor on at least three occasions, he also served as Denbighshire County Council leader as a Denbighshire County Councillor.

"In addition to his municipal work, Ken gave many hours to St Peter's Church as its warden, and he was an excellent neighbour to Erw Goch residents.

"Diolch Ken am dy waith di-flino dros dy gymdogion a thrigilion tref Rhuthun."

Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, of Ruthin ward, said: "Ken was a gentleman who worked tirelessly as a county councillor and as a town councillor along with his late wife Dwynwen.

"Ken was a warrior for the voice of the Ruthin people and my thoughts and condolences go to the whole family who he adored."

Councillor Pete Prendergast, Chairman of Denbighshire County Council, said: “We are saddened to hear of Ken’s passing. He gave so much to his role as county councillor for Ruthin during the years working with colleagues and was such a well-respected member of the local community.

“He did so much for the Ruthin community and wider across Denbighshire, especially when he became chairman of the council.

“We will all miss Ken and we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family at this sad time.”