THE FUNERAL of well-known Rotarian Norman Gledhill will take place in Rawdon this week. Mr Gledhill, who was also a great supporter of Yeadon Charities, died at the age of 91.

Mr Gledhill was born in Holbeck and married his wife Jean in June 1953. He was a lifelong dedicated Leeds United season ticket holder until his deteriorating health cut short his attendance.

Aireborough Rotary Club spokesman Robert Mirfield said: "Norman was an early entrant to National Service, enjoying his time in the Royal Navy, rising to the rank of Petty Officer serving in the Mediterranean on HMS Savage. He was also particularly proud of his achievements in the boxing team.

"Working for Johnson Radley, a foundry producing metal castings in Stanningley, Norman was regarded as a firm but fair General Manager. The company had a superb apprenticeship training programme, Norman’s baby, where he brooked no interference."

Mr Gledhill was also a keen supporter of the Blood Transfusion Service, encouraging colleagues to enrol.

Mr Mirfield said: "Norman and Jean later moved to Droitwich in the West Midlands, to another post in the foundry industry. Norman travelled the world with the Institute of British Foundrymen taking in conventions, fact finding visits and mixing with politicians. Later he worked In Glasgow, leaving home on a Monday to return on a Friday.

"In 1999 he was awarded the E J Fox gold medal by the Institute presented by TV personality Fred Dibnah ‘to a person whose work as an industrialist has contributed in an outstanding manner to the progress of the foundry industry’.

"When Norman and Jean moved in opposite Brian and Carol Hall in Dorchester Drive in 1986 Brian realised they had worked together at Johnson Radley in the 1960s. Norman’s experience and advice proved to be particularly beneficial in helping him establish local firm Tanda Engineering.

"Brian introduced Norman to Rotary in 2001 a year after he had joined himself. He saw Rotary as a ready-made outlet for his many talents. Norman’s vocation was Commercial Administrator.

"In Aireborough Rotary he found his niche in the Club’s Community and Vocational Committee representing the club on the Yeadon Town Hall Users where he wielded a good deal of influence.

"He also took on the role of treasurer with Yeadon Charities, where his common sense approach made him an invaluable addition. Yeadon Charities have since become a staunch supporter of Rotary’s Kids Out day at Lightwater Valley.

"Guiseley Theatre was another recipient of his public spiritedness seeing him helping out on the front of house team at Guiseley Amateurs’ shows. He was also a great supporter of his wife Jean as she choreographed more than 30 local pantomimes.

"Always supportive of Rotary events with wife Jean, Norman was more often found quietly volunteering for back room duties perfecting his double act with his close friend Gerald Long. Together Norman and Jean hosted and are still in touch with Katie a visiting Ambassadorial Scholar from the USA sponsored by the Rotary Club of Conyers, Georgia.

"When called upon as Speaker Finder Norman would do the job himself, regaling members with his work experiences in management, never having suffered fools gladly, always entertaining with his plain speaking Yorkshire humour. Any topical debate or call for questions for the day’s speaker would draw words of wisdom from Norman.

"Club President Raj Mani enjoyed his company whether hearing him recount his experiences in Southern India, which he enjoyed, or without fail enquiring about his writing projects – a fine example of Rotary fellowship.

"After a lengthy battle with throat cancer Norman died peacefully in St James Hospital Leeds on 18 April surrounded by his close family.

"Under pandemic rules his funeral will be private on Friday 7th May at Rawdon Crematorium at 2.30 pm. Friends and colleagues will assemble in tribute beforehand on Dorchester Drive and Harrogate Road, the route to the crematorium. As a celebration of his life and lively character nothing black will be worn.

"A devoted family man Norman is survived by his wife Jean, his children Gillian and husband Jeremy, son Nicholas and wife Kate and his grandchildren Matthew and Sam."