MOURNERS have paid their respects to a much-loved former Solihull mayor who dedicated his life to nature and the arts.
Dozens of people turned out to Robin Hood Cemetery and Crematorium for the funeral of John Reeve on Monday (May 18).
Mr Reeve served as a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Shirley East for 22 years after winning a by-election in 1989.
He became Mayor of Solihull in 2006 and was made an Honorary Alderman in October 2011.
During his time in office he served on many committees across the Council and held both the Regeneration and Local Services portfolios and started the process for the Local Development Plan to be developed.
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Coun John Windmill knew John for more than 35 years as a friend and member of Solihull Council.
After speaking at the funeral Coun Windmill paid tribute to Mr Reeve.
He said: “John was more than a Councillor – he was a very talented artist and loved the environment.
“He was an interesting character was very talented artists and created beautiful prints and paintings of animals and was a keen traveller he went all over the world including Peru Kazakhstan an to look at the animals and insects there.
“He got involved in putting up lights at Christmas lights and we found his skills leaning up lampposts very helpful.
“I remember him hanging off the lights and the numerous arguments we had about how many words should go on each page of our political leaflets.
“He was a firm believer that everyone read political literature word for word.”
John was a dedicated artist, being an associate of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and a founder member of Solihull Artists Forum.
A keen entomologist, he was a longstanding member of Butterfly Conservation, the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the Birmingham Natural History Society
Working with other wildlife groups in Solihull, John prompted the founding of Solihull Environment Day in 1992. He loved to travel with his camera to wildlife hotspots across the globe.
John met his wife, Susan, with whom he later raised two children, at Hall Green Little Theatre where he was involved in the designing and painting of sets, participating in the occasional performance on stage.
Later, he bought a local business in Shirley, then expanded into retail by opening a gallery.
During his 35 years in business, John was a committee member of both the Federation of Small Business and Shirley Chamber of Trade, where he served as Chairman for four years.