Former teacher and deputy mayor dies aged 66 after long illness
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The deputy mayor of Southwold who played a huge part in town life has died aged 66.
Matthew Horwood joined Southwold Town Council in 2015 and was delighted to be voted in as mayor in 2017, before taking up the deputy role back in May.
Born in Walberswick in 1952, Mr Horwood was brought up in Southwold and after leaving school studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where he trained as a teacher of drama and English.
He spent most of his life as a teacher, initially in London, but returned to Suffolk to teach at Southwold Primary School in 1980. He then worked at the Poplars Primary School and was deputy headteacher at St Margaret's Primary School, both in Lowestoft, before progressing to the role of headteacher at Ringsfield Primary School in 1995. He finally moved to the Grove Primary School in Carlton Colville as headteacher in 2003, and remained there until his retirement in 2012.
He married his wife Jane in 1980 and together they had two sons, William and Charles. Last year he became a grandfather for the first time with the birth of Joseph.
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During his life he was heavily involved in the local community, running a children's drama group in the 1990s together with the late Mary Weston, being chairman of Southwold Tennis Club for several years, joining the Millennium Foundation Committee, and serving as vice-chairman of the Voluntary Help Centre Committee. Mr Horwood was also editor of Heart and Sole Parish magazine for the past three years.
His dedication to helping others continued into his retirement through his role as a councillor. He made the theme of his mayoral year volunteering, running a successful volunteering day and helping to raise awareness of organisations in the local area that run on voluntary help.
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In his spare time he was a passionate sailor, never happier than when he was on the water in his boat Phantom. He was also a dedicated follower of sport, regularly attending Carrow Road for more than 15 years, where he and Charles were season ticket holders, as well as Lord's Cricket Ground, where William was a member.
Mr Horwood passed away on Thursday, June 28, after a long illness.
A tribute from Southwold Town Council said: 'Lately he had borne his illness with great bravery and stoicism, never once complaining.
'He and his family were truly grateful for all the care he received both in hospital and when he returned home, especially that provided by Cathy Ryan and her Sole Bay Care team.
'His family are heartbroken at the loss of a fantastic husband, dedicated father and loving family man, and know that many others in the Southwold area will feel similarly.'
A service of remembrance will be held on Friday, July 20, at 12.30pm at St Edmund's Church, Southwold, with civic and family members leaving from the Town Hall at midday.