Obituary – Ron Duthie

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A well-known businessman who earnt the nickname Mr Co-Op has died.

Ron Duthie, baptised Charles Ronald Duthie, passed away on Sunday, aged 92.

He was born on August 20, 1920, in Northgate, Heckmondwike. After attending Heckmondwike Grammar School, he started his career at Heckmondwike Co-operative Society, eventually becoming a chartered company secretary.

His training was interrupted by the war.

He enlisted with the RAF as a wireless mechanic and served in North Africa and Italy, where he met his wife Mollie, whom he married after demobilisation. His house in New North Road was named ‘Amalfi’, after the area in Italy where they did their courting.

Ron resumed work at Heckmondwike Co-operative Society after the war, rising to become chief executive, a post he held for 24 years, and earning him the nick-name ‘Mr Co-Op’. He retired in 1982.

Ron was an Independent member of the Heckmondwike Urban District Council for 19 years, serving as chairman for two years.

He was a lifelong member of the Methodist church, firstly at Westgate Methodist Church in Heckmondwike, and then at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Littletown.

He served as trustee, society steward, treasurer and organist, playing the organ for church services until well into his 80s.

He is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters.