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02 August 2019

Thanksgiving service and book of condolence for Jerry Wickham

Credit - Tony Millet, Marlborough News Online

The thanksgiving service for former cabinet member and councillor Jerry Wickham, who sadly passed away last week, will be held at St Johns Church, Long Street,Devizes at 3pm on Friday 9 August.

Jerry passed away on 23 July from prostate cancer, an illness he had for three years while still carrying out his full duties.

Prior to becoming a Wiltshire Councillor Jerry had a very distinguished 30-year career at Wiltshire Police, reaching the rank of Chief Superintendent until he retired from the force in 2010.

Jerry,was elected as a unitary councillor at Wiltshire Council in March 2014,representing the Ethandune division, and was widely respected among his peers regardless of their political allegiances. Since being elected, Jerry was a portfolio holder for waste and highways before taking up his cabinet position for adult social care, public health and public protection. One of Jerry's significant recent legacies is the transformation programme in adult social care, which resulted in an improved and efficient service for residents and more than £6m of savings during the 2018/19 financial year.

Jerry is survived by his wife Suzanne and two grown-up sons.

After the service there will be a gathering at the Conservative Club, Long Street where light refreshments and a bar will be available.

To give the family an indication of likely numbers of people, if you are planning to attend the service or gathering please can you email committee@wiltshire.gov.uk by Monday  5 August.

The family request that no black ties are worn and that people should feel free to wear some colour to celebrate Jerry's life.

There is no parking at the church or the Conservative Club, but they are only a short walk apart.

Flowers are family only and any donations received will be split between Dorothy House and The Royal Marsden.  Any donations in Jerry's name will go to prostate cancer research.

Donations can also be sent to the funeral directors; Iles & Vincent, 14 The Cornmarket, Warminster, BA12 9BX. 

Members of the public are also being invited to sign a book of condolence to remember Jerry. It has been placed at Trowbridge Library and will be there for the next two weeks.

Wiltshire Council leader, Philip Whitehead; Chairman, James Sheppard; and Executive Directors Alistair Cunningham, Carlton Brand and Terence Herbert recently paid tribute to Jerry and his extraordinary career of public service:

Statement from Wiltshire Council leader, Philip Whitehead:

"Jerry was a close friend and a fantastic colleague for many years. As a councillor and cabinet member Jerry always put others before him and was wholeheartedly committed to his local community and Wiltshire. Jerry felt duty bound to serve the public and that was evident in a very distinguished career with the police before representing Wiltshire Council.

"The plan was for Jerry to be leader of the council and I his deputy, and I wish more than anything that's what could have happened as he would have been a great leader.

"Our love and condolences go to Jerry's family and friends and the thoughts of everyone at Wiltshire Council are with them. We shall miss him terribly."

Statement from Wiltshire Council executive directors, Alistair Cunningham, Carlton Brand and Terence Herbert:

"We are deeply saddened that Jerry has passed away.

"Jerry had prostate cancer but his illness did not define him, but what did was his integrity, values and his skill as a cabinet member. His knowledge of his brief and his ability to drive improvements in this council was second to none.

"He was respected as a councillor, cabinet member and more importantly a person,and will be terribly missed by all who knew him. He was particularly passionate about adult social care and one of his lasting legacies will be the transformed service that is supporting many people in the county.

"Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men, and we're in no doubt Jerry will want us to continue to raise awareness of this illness which robs so many people of their loved ones, so if anyone needs any advice and support please visit https://prostatecanceruk.org/

"Our thoughts are with Jerry's wife Suzanne, their sons and his family and friends at this very sad time."

Statement from the chairman of Wiltshire Council, James Sheppard:

"Jerry was a man of the utmost integrity and coupled with his depth of knowledge on so many areas, it made him a councillor that was always at the beating heart of the community he served with such pride and passion.  

"He will be truly missed by all that knew him at Wiltshire Council and throughout the county but he leaves behind a wonderful legacy.

"My condolences goes to Jerry's family and friends at this really difficult time."

Last updated: 2 August 2019 | Last reviewed: 2 August 2019

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