A former mayor of South Tyneside and educational pioneer has died at the age of 85.
Joan Jackson served as the borough’s mayor in 2002, with her husband Arthur, who was also a Labour councillor, acting as her consort.
She alweays put others before herselfJoanna Jackson
The couple had first met in 1951 when their schools in South Shields, Stanhope Secondary Boys’ School and Stanhope Secondary Girls’ School, merged.
They went on to get married at Westoe Methodist Church and two years ago celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
Mrs Jackson later became head at All Saints’ Infants School in South Shields.
A lifelong Labour Party member, she served the Rekendyke and then Westoe wards between 1992 and 2004. After her school career ended she took on a role overseeing pre-school home teaching, known as Portage, and also pioneered summer holiday playschemes for children in the borough – giving up her own summer holidays to do so.
Mrs Jackson, who lived for more than 40 years in Grosvenor Road, South Shields, had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and had spent the last few months at the town’s Garden Hill Care Home.
A mother to four – David, Pauline, Joanna and Miriam – she is survived by her husband Arthur. The couple have eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Her daughter Joanna Jackson said: “She was the most loving and caring person you could ever meet. I think she was the first to organise holiday playschemes and gave up her own summer holidays to do so. She always put others before herself and looked to the positives and for the best in everyone she met.”
Councillor Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “Joan Jackson was a dedicated and selfless councillor who served the interests of her local community with passion and diligence.
“Our thoughts are with her friends and family at this sad time.”
A funeral service is to be held at Westoe Methodist Church on Thursday from 11.30am.