A FORMER Keighley councillor, community volunteer and father has died, aged 52.

Paul Heseltine, who had owned a convenience store in Beechcliffe, suffered serious health problems including strokes and vascular dementia.

He died in Leeds General Infirmary last month (Feb) a few days after being injured in a road accident.

His wife, Naomi Gayle Heseltine, said he battled his illnesses with “strength and humour”.

“Paul loved spending time with his children and enjoyed taking them on trips to the coast or Bolton Abbey,” she said.

“When he had his shop he got to know many people well and liked being his own boss.

“He used to take goods to elderly people who couldn’t get out and about, and if people couldn’t afford items he’d let them pay later.

“He always wanted to help people, which was why he became a councillor.”

Mr Heseltine was born in Keighley, though spent his early childhood in Skipton before his family brought him to live in Beechcliffe. He was one of three brothers.

He was educated at Hartington Middle School and Greenhead then worked at Silent Night Beds, where he was a representative for the firm’s employees.

He had five children, including a son from his first marriage. Mr Heseltine moved to the Branshaw area of Keighley following his first wedding but returned to Beechcliffe in 2003. He married his second wife in Keighley in 2004.

His mother and brother initially opened the convenience shop in Arctic Street, Beechcliffe, in the early 1990s, but he took over shortly afterwards. His first wife, Sue, and second wife, Naomi, also worked with him at the store.

The shop continued until 2011, but closed following the opening of Keighley’s Asda.

Mr Heseltine was later employed on the production line for Trico Vitreous Enamellers, in Crossflatts, before poor health forced him to give up work.

He was elected to represent Spring Gardens and Utley Ward on Keighley Town Council in May 2007, and remained a councillor until stepping down in January 2010.

His decision to become a councillor grew out of his involvement with a community group in Beechcliffe. He and his second wife were volunteer helpers for a youth group at St Mark’s Church, Utley. He also served on Keighley Gala Committee.

One of his sons attended Phoenix Special School, where Mr Heseltine supported a parents’ fundraising group to pay for new equipment for the school.

Naomi Gayle Heseltine said her husband had his first stroke in 2011 then began experiencing problems with his memory and balance.

“He had a series of strokes at the end of 2016 which caused brain damage,” she added. “He had to give up work in 2016 which was difficult because he never liked to be idle.”

Mr Heseltine leaves four sons and one daughter.

His funeral is at Keighley Shared Church from noon on Friday. (March 8) It will be followed by a short service at 1.20pm at Skipton Crematorium then an informal wake at the Roebuck, Utley, after 1pm.