Tributes paid to 'kind and caring Auntie June', after death of community stalwart and former councillor

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a community stalwart and respected former councillor.

Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 5:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 5:02 pm
June was a prominent member of the Notton community and her local church, friends said on Tuesday.

June Drysdale passed away this week, aged 77, after a long battle with illness.

Known as 'Auntie June' to friends and Conservative colleagues, she represented constituents in the Wakefield Rural ward between 2003 and 2014.

A proud resident of Notton in the south of the district, she was also involved in a local community takeover of the village post office in the early 2000s.

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Former councillor Antony Calvert said June's death felt like "losing a member of your own family".

He said: "She was a very good public servant to Wakefield.

"I knew her when I was a councillor and she took me under her wing and gave me some political direction, which I needed at that time.

"We called her ‘Auntie’ June because she was like an auntie.

"A lot of councillors disappear when they stand down and you don’t hear from them again, but she was still a prominent member of her church and community."

Monica Graham, herself a former Conservative councillor, said she had visited June at a local hospice on Sunday, before she died.

She said: "We were quite close. She was very kind and conscientious and she cared about people.

"People thought a lot of her and she worked hard for everybody.

"If someone rang her with a problem she’d follow it up until the end.

"Appearance was very important to her and she always looked nice.

"But I'd say kindness and being caring were her main values.

"I think she was a Wakefield girl - she was born and brought up here."

The leader of Wakefield Council, Denise Jeffery offered her condolences, saying: "We are saddened to hear that former councillor, June Drysdale, has passed away.

"June was a dedicated ward councillor for the Wakefield Rural ward. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this very sad and difficult time."

Local Democracy Reporting Service