David Mortimer obituary

Kathryn Conway

My father, David Mortimer, who has died aged 85, worked for the Midland Bank in Yorkshire for more than 35 years. He loved his native county, served as a local Liberal Democrat councillor and was passionate about cricket.

He was born in Batley, West Yorkshire, the only son of Gilbert, a rag merchant, and his wife, Nora, and grew up there during the second world war years, playing cricket, reading comics and attending Ebenezer Methodist church in Hanging Heaton.

After leaving Dewsbury Wheelwright grammar school, he joined the Midland Bank aged 17 and was called up for national service a year later. He spent much of his time in the RAF playing cricket, listening to The Goon Show on the radio and, in London, route-lining in Oxford Street, in the rain, for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

He returned to the Midland Bank on demobilisation, married Barbara Chappel, a primary school teacher, in 1959, and continued to work in Midland branches across west, east and south Yorkshire as a clerk and then as manager until his early retirement in 1987.

Retirement brought a new energy and presented new opportunities - David studied enthusiastically for an Open University degree while volunteering as an adviser with the Citizens Advice Bureau in Clay Cross. He was elected to the North East Derbyshire district council as a Liberal Democrat councillor and served the Gosforth Valley for 16 years, completing his term as chair of the audit committee.

My father enjoyed choral music and sang for more than 45 years in the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus. He loved his family, he loved history and he was devoted to the Guardian, for its values, its campaigns and its courage, as well as its letters and crosswords.

My father was a wise, tolerant, compassionate, principled citizen; he was a trusted, amusing, generous friend and a proud, fair and honest father, with an unfailing work ethic and enduring optimism.

Barbara died in 2017. David is survived by their two daughters, Susan and me, and three grandchildren, Matthew, Louise and Patrick.