Community mourns loss of brave Ribble Valley councillor who 'brought sunshine where she went and put a smile on people's faces'
Tributes are pouring in for Billington and Langho councillor, Ruth Baxter, who died after a long, but courageous battle with cancer.
Her heartbroken son, Lewis, broke the news of her untimely death on Facebook.
In a poignant tribute to his mum, Lewis said: "I'm devastated to be writing this post. She wasn’t just family, but my best friend and role model. Always with a smile on her face and with a heart bursting with positivity, she was determined to beat cancer even until the end.
"Mum was truly a globetrotter and was a fan of anywhere sunny! She had wonderful trips to Australia, Fiji and the USA. She loved trips to places like Cornwall, and planned to retire by the seaside.
"She began her career as a travel agent and went on to have a successful career in business, then academia.
"A highly educated lady, she spent her most recent years as a university lecturer - inspiring the next generation with her engaging teaching style and infectious sense of humour.
"We spent hours on the park together when I was a little child - mum was my partner in crime. We travelled around the country to my football matches for over 10 years. She was my taxi driver, number one fan and (part-time) coach. We loved a good chit-chat, whatever it was about. But, a proper mother and son conversation wasn’t complete without a Starbucks coffee.
"She was a very funny lady, but often that wasn’t intentional. Her family meant everything to her: her sisters, her mum and dad, her husband, Simon and I. And she meant everything to us.
"Running was her passion and she dreamed of being able to put those running shoes on again.
"We’ll miss you.
"We’ll always love you.
"We’ll remember the good times.
"We’ll cherish all those special memories.
“We’ll always be together, together in electric dreams
Those lyrics from her favourite song will remain with me forever."
Ruth's friend and fellow councillor, Ged Mirfin, has also been left upset and saddened by her death. Paying tribute. He said: "Ruth would have gone on to become a brilliant councillor when cancer stopped her in her tracks.
"She was a force of nature - her effervescent and vibrant personality rubbed off on us all. She brought sunshine where she went and put a smile on peoples faces.
"Even when it was obvious that she was really ill and struggling badly she turned up to council meetings because she didn’t want to let anybody down.
"I only knew Ruth for a couple of years, but her positivity, as she bravely battled against cancer showing her resilience against all the odds, which meant spending quality time with the family loved, is an inspiration to us all.
"She will be missed, particularly her infectious laugh."