FORMER Mayor of Bridgwater Philip Smeed has died at the age of 78.

He is survived by his devoted wife Ute Smeed, three children, and six grandchildren.

Mr Smeed, who lived in Durleigh Road, served as a councillor for Bridgwater Town Council and Sedgemoor District Council. He was an active member of Sedgemoor and Bridgwater Rotary Clubs.

As President of Sedgemoor Rotary Club, he was recognised with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow award, presented to him by both his club and Homberg (Efze) Rotary Club. 

Mr Smeed moved to Bridgwater 40 years ago on promotion to the role of chief inspector of Avon and Somerset Police. He also served as a police officer in Bristol, was promoted to the rank of superintendent at Weston-super-Mare, and worked in Taunton until his retirement in 1991.

Passionate about Bridgwater, he was a driving force in setting up the twinning relationship with the German town of Homberg (Efze). 

A member of Bridgwater Civic Society, He supported Bridgwater Arts Centre, Blake Museum, Bridgwater Operatic Society, Bridgwater Choral Society, as well as The Two Town Talker and Bridgwater Carnival.

One of his enduring memories was being invited to take part in the Squibbing – an honour few share outside of Bridgwater Carnival Clubs. 
In retirement, he travelled far and wide, and over the last few years delighted in his grandchildren.

Proud of them all, he was pleased by the success of his two eldest grandsons who both play for Somerset County Cricket Club. Mr Smeed died peacefully in Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, on November 22, after recently being diagnosed with lung cancer and pneumonia.

His widow Ute Smeed said: “The family has been overwhelmed by the kind messages we have received from people Philip knew from his career, his voluntary work, and wide-ranging interests. We were also deeply touched by the care Philip received from the nursing team and doctors at Musgrove Hospital. Philip lived a full and rich life. Serving his community was important to Philip, he enjoyed family life, was a wonderful husband, and a good friend to many. He will be sorely missed.”

His funeral will be at St Mary’s Church in Bridgwater on December 11.