Tributes have been paid to a well respected Honiton councillor and a ‘remarkable woman’ who touched the lives of many.

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Liz Tirard died on Monday, January 13, after losing her battle with cancer, and leaves behind her husband Mike Beville, seven children, 16 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

The 70-year-old was born Elizabeth Lis in Hammersmith, London, at the height of the bombing during World War II. Her parents, Stanislaus and Helena, were Polish émigrés and prisoners of a Russian Gulag, who on their release moved to Britain to join the war effort.

When she was two-week’s old Liz was brought to Devon to be cared for in a baby home after her mother was unable to care for her due to her work with the special ops. Her father, who was involved in training Polish forces, was unaware of his daughter’s birth. Liz later traced her parents, who had separated, but the relationship drifted apart.

Liz married Derek Workman and they had five children together. After he died she married Patrick Bellingham, and had two more children. The couple divorced and Liz married John Tirard. However, the relationship was brought to an end when John died, but she later found love again with Mike Robinson. The couple’s relationship ended after Mike’s sudden death in 2009. Finally, Liz married Mike Beville in July 2011.

Mike said: “I cannot quite believe that Liz and I have been together for only 20 months. We have done so much and it feels as though this short time has been a huge part of my whole life-time existence. In spite of the pain I feel at her loss I will never regret the time we shared and made so special. Liz was a remarkable woman, who made a significant difference to so many lives.”

Liz and Mike co-founded the Joanna Leach Foundation to encourage musical activities, particularly in and around Honiton.

Liz’s daughter Anna Forbes added: “Mum will be greatly missed by many. She made a big impression wherever she went in various forms. Though she had ups and downs in her life she never gave up. This particular journey she travelled privately and discretely, so much so some of her closest friends were not even aware she was so ill. It will, for some, have come as a shock. She had qualities that touched many lives and the dignity in which she fought this disease is admirable.”

She served as a councillor on Honiton Town Council from May 2003 until August 2008. She returned as a councillor in May 2011 and resigned in 2013 due to her ill health.

The Mayor of Honiton, Councillor David Foster, said: “Councillor Tirard was a dedicated and hard working member of Honiton Town Council who always strived to do her best for the people of our community.

“Her dedication is still visible in our town today - the Millennium Green the most prominent.

“Liz was not just a councillor to many but also a dear and loved friend. A true friend always willing to lend a helping hand and so it is with joy and the deepest respect that I shall remember her.”

Councillor John Zarczynski, who worked closely with Liz on the planning committee, added: “Liz was a inspiration to all councillors, I feel deeply privileged to have served with Liz on the planning committee and Local Plan Working group, her commitment as a councillor will be greatly missed and her untimely departure has left a void. She will never be forgotten.”

Councillor Vernon Whitlock, who served with Liz on the town council for a number of years, said: “She served her town well as a councillor and her enthusiasm for everything she got involved with was infectious. She was involved in the early work of Roundball Wood, and as chairman of the planning committee her openness, honesty and willingness to involve others were key to ensuring the success of the process.

“It was however her unwavering support of the Beehive project that I am personally most grateful for. Her encouragement kept us all going when times were tough and her straight talking helped to keep us on track. It is sad that she won’t be there to see it open this Spring. She will be missed.”

The funeral will take place at 3pm on Friday (January 24), at St Paul’s Church.

1 comment

  • Liz was a great character, supportive and friendly, always had time to chat and dedicated to Honiton, latterly I was fortunate enough to have her as a parishioner, having known her for thirty years, I will miss her.

    Report this comment

    Alastair McCollum

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

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