FAMILY of grandfather Richard Burton, who supported his wife Jane through two terms of being Mayor of Devizes, have paid tribute to a man who loved people and was always smiling.

Mr Burton, who was born in Bath but moved to Devizes in the early 1960s, died at the Royal United Hospital, Bath on September 25. His funeral will be held at St John's Church, Devizes tomorrow (Friday, October 13) at 12.30pm. Donations in his memory can by made to support the oncology unit at the RUH.

Mr Burton had suffered from prostate cancer but died following a heart attack with his wife at his bedside. She said: "I held his hand and told him I loved him. He knew that I was there."

She described her husband of 46 years as a real people person.

"When he asked people how they were he wasn't just being polite he was really interested in them," she said.

"He was a huge support to me when I was mayor. If I had to give a speech he would squeeze my hand under the table and tell me it would be fine."

Mr Burton was born in Bath the only child of Rose and Bill Burton and lived in Manvers Street.

The family later moved to Great Chalfield Manor near Bradford on Avon and then to Stert, near Devizes before moving into the town. He was a pupil at Southbroom Secondary School and served as a prefect.

He was sporty and particularly keen on athletics and represented both the area and the region in the relay. He later attended Salisbury College and was a member of the shooting team.

He joined the Southern Electric Board in 1961 and remained there until he was made redundant in 2001 when he became self employed.

He married the then Jane Evans in 1971 and had two children Sarah, an accounts administrator at the Bear Hotel, and Daniel, a crew manager, for Dorset and Wiltshire fire service.

He also had four grandchildren, Scott, Owen, Harry and Molly who he totally doted on. He enjoyed acting as consort to his wife during her mayoral years from 2008 to 2009 and then again in 2016 to 2017.

He was also High Constable to the late John Leighton during his mayoral year in 2009 and to his daughter Sarah Bridewell in 2014/15.

He was an avid supporter of the 2nd Devizes Boys Brigade and a founder member of the group's family and friends committee.

He loved military history particularly the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force and enjoyed politics and world affairs.

But he was never happier than when playing with his grandchildren. In later years he was an avid supporter of the Fire Service and the Firefighters charity.

Mrs Burton said: "He was totally a people person, always interested in others. Always laughing and smiling. He was supportive of all his family in whatever they did."