Tributes are paid to the former chairman of the Dunmow Society

Gary Warren

Gary Warren - Credit: Archant

A community stalwart who “tirelessly fought for the good of the town”, while leading the charge against unwanted change, has died.

Former chairman of the Dunmow Society, Gary Warren, passed away in his sleep on Saturday, October 11, while on holiday with his wife Helen, 66, in Spain. The couple, who were married for 37 years and had two daughters, Abigail Hammond, 31, and Laura Warren, 28, had arrived at their holiday home the day before his death.

Mrs Warren said: “It is just so sad. We knew he was not well but we did not expect this to happen. Everyone has been so stunned because he did not look his age and he was so active.

“He was a force of nature. He was just so talkative and could speak to anyone.”

Earlier this year the 71-year-old had stepped down from his role at the Dunmow Society due to ill health.

He became chairman following his retirement as a chartered surveyor because he wanted “to give something back”.

Throughout his two-and-a-half years in the position, Mr Warren campaigned to stop developments being built on unsuitable locations in Dunmow while trying to establish a clean environment in the town.

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Jenny Poulton, member of the Great Dunmow Society, who was secretary while Mr Warren was chairman, said: “This is a great loss to the community.

“Gary fought tirelessly for the good of the town and you could not help but like him. Working alongside him was a lot of fun and he was very easy going. He will be sadly missed.”

Mr Warren, who lived in the town for 23 years, had also been part of the Great Dunmow Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group since 2012, where he worked closely alongside town clerk, Caroline Fuller, and administrative officer to the steering group, Daniel Bacon.

Mrs Fuller said: “He was a very active member of the steering group and he was with us right from the start.

“He was always such a positive person and upbeat about everything. He really cared passionately about Dunmow, the past and the future. I will really miss him.”