Tributes have been paid to a former Hartlepool Mayoress who was a dedicated foster carer following a brave battle against cancer.
Margaret Smith, who was Mayor of Hartlepool in 1993/94, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 25, with her family by her side.
Margaret, who was also well-known for her foster caring role, was Mayoress to husband Brian who was a councillor for the Throston ward at the time.
During their civic year in office the popular couple attended a total of 368 functions and raised a then record £17,000 for Hartlepool children with special needs.
Margaret has been described as ‘a deeply caring person who had a heart of gold’.
She and her husband Brian looked after more than 50 children as foster carers over a 15-year period in the town.
Council chiefs said they ‘helped many children get the best start in life’ and ‘we’ll always be indebted to the fantastic contribution she made to helping others’.
Councillor Paul Beck, the Mayor of Hartlepool, said: “Margaret was a deeply caring person who had a heart of gold.
“She was adored by her family and was admired by all who knew her.
“Along with her husband Brian, their desire to help others was demonstrated by their joint foster caring role which saw them look after 50 children over a 15-year period.
“I am saddened to hear of Margaret’s passing and our prayers and thoughts are with her family and friends.”
Born in Hartlepool, Margaret was the daughter of former Mayor and Mayoress of Hartlepool ‘Chic’ and Margaret Ellett.
Sally Robinson, the council’s director of adult and child services, commented: “Margaret Smith dedicated years of her life as a foster carer and we’ll always be indebted to the fantastic contribution she made to helping others.
“Margaret, her husband Brian and their family gave the children in their care everything they could possibly give including their love and time and helped many children get the best start in life. They were fantastic ambassadors for the fostering service and kept in touch with many of the children they cared for.
“I am very saddened to hear of her death, her fostering legacy continues in the children Margaret and Brian cared for.”
Mrs Smith is survived by her husband Brian, sons Brian, David and Barry and granddaughters Abbie, Poppy, Libbie and Ella. Her funeral takes place on Friday at 10.30am at Stranton Crematorium, Tanfield Road.