Tributes paid to popular long-standing parish councillor and Rotarian

A long-standing parish councillor and rotary club branch founder member has died at the age of 90.

Long-serving parish councillor, Rotarian and businessman John Tonkinson who has died aged 90
Long-serving parish councillor, Rotarian and businessman John Tonkinson who has died aged 90

John Tonkinson, who lived in Seisdon near Wolverhampton, served on the Trysull and Seisdon Parish Council for more than 32 years.

That including six terms as chairman, before he retired from duty in 2019.

Speaking last May Mr Tonkinson said he felt "humbled" by all the support and good wishes he had received as he announced he was stepping down.

During his time on the council, he helped raise more than £120,000 for the two villages.

He championed several major community projects including development of the local children’s play area, improvements to the village hall and sports pavilion and the creation of the parish council’s website.

Mr Tonkinson pictured in his 20s

In a tribute the parish council said his “drive, enthusiasm, expertise, generosity and kindness brought so many benefits to the villages.”

Parish council chairman, Councillor Steve Harrison, said: "For councillors who joined after him, John was always a good friend and mentor. He will be sorely missed.”

As well as being a founder member of Sedgley and Wombourne Rotary Club, he also served as its president and remained actively involved in the club throughout his life.

"John was a real character, and a very good friend for over 50 years," said fellow founding member George Sanders.

"He was well-liked in the area and raised a lot of money for the community."

John Tonkinson looked back on his time serving Trysull and Seisdon Parish Council as he stepped down last year

During his time with Rotary, Mr Tonkinson helped to raise funds for numerous charities, including money to purchase a new lifeboat for the Flint branch of the RNLI.

He was also a successful businessman, running Associated Steels and Tools Company, which was a major supplier of car parts for many years.

At its peak the company employed over 150 people in Wolverhampton.

He sold the business before retiring in 1985, after which he focused on his charitable work and parish council projects.

Mr Tonkinson passed away on May 4, and is survived by his wife Evelyn, two daughters Caroline and Ruth, and four grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service later in the year.

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