My father, Steve Scott, who has died aged 92, served as an elected representative, board member for health service organisations and charities, justice of the peace and keen advocate for the community in the London borough of Hackney, where he lived and worked for more than 70 years.
Steve was elected to Hackney council in 1971 and served for more than 15 years. He chaired several council committees and was its go-to councillor for health service-related matters. He took his appointment, in 1974, to the local health authority very seriously, and it was the start of a long association with the health service.
In the 25 years that followed, he was the inaugural chair of City and Hackney community health council, vice chair of the area health authority, a member of Bart’s special trustees, and on the board at Great Ormond Street. His greatest joy was seeing Homerton hospital rise from paper plans to opening ceremony, and serving on its board.
Steve was born in Whitechapel, east London, to Lew Schuldberg and his wife, Dora (nee Fishman), who made handbags – Lew made the patterns, and Dora stitched the leather and linings onto the frames. They had fled to the UK as small children from Odessa and Warsaw respectively.
Shortly before the second world war, the family moved to Hackney. Steve met June Jacobs in 1944 when she travelled with the handball team from her youth club to his, and they married in 1948. They were barely out of each other’s sight for their entire 53-year marriage, working together in the chemist shop Steve ran in the early 1950s and the travel agency they opened just as holidays abroad became popular and within the reach of local people. They sent generations of Hackney families on their first overseas holidays, often to the new resorts in Spain - although Steve and June would not go there while Franco was still alive.
Steve was best uncle and honorary uncle to many, and he and June welcomed friends and family into their home “above the shop” for great food and spirited discussions about the issues of the day.
June and Steve retired in 1999 and June died in 2001. Steve busied himself with finishing his Open University law degree, and then took an MA in medieval history. It was only in the last 18 months that ill-health diminished his interest in the world around him, but not in his family.
He is survived by my brother Adam and me, and by two grandsons, Aidan and Nathan.