Aylesbury mayor Steve Patrick died last night (Tuesday) at the age of 59.
The Liberal Democrat district and town councillor had only become mayor in May after taking over from Ranjula Takodra.
Aylesbury Town Council clerk Keith Gray said: “The Aylesbury Town Council is very sad to hear of the news of the passing away of the town mayor, Councillor Steve Patrick.
“He was a very dedicated community leader, who will be greatly missed.”
Ms Takodra said: “Steve really cared for the residents and the town.
“His legacy of ward projects will be felt right across the town for years to come.”
Mr Patrick represented Oakfield ward at district level since 1999 and was town council leader for seven years.
He and his wife Jan lived in Aylesbury for the past 25 years with their two children, Michael and Kirsten.
Friends and colleagues have been paying tribute to Mr Patrick following his death.
Councillor Mike Smith, who took over from Mr Patrick as town council leader last year, said: “I am so saddened by the news.
“Steve was a good friend and colleague and I will miss him, his humour, help and advice.
“He was a founder member of the town council and brought a wealth of experience to the Liberal Democrat team as the council leader for seven years.
“Every serving councillor benefited from his experience.
“He was highly committed to the town and its success and campaigned constantly for the town council to take a lead in determining its own future.”
Steven Lambert, the Lib Dem district group leader, said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden death of our friend and colleague Councillor Steve Patrick.
“He was an active district councillor since 1999, serving in the shadow cabinet for the last six years.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jan and children Michael and Kirsten at this sad time.”
District council leader John Cartwright said: “I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Steve’s death.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
“Steve was a well respected member of the council.
“The news today has been met with sadness by councillors and staff across the council.”
Former mayor Jenny Puddefoot said Mr Patrick was a ‘real ambassador’ for Aylesbury.
She said: “Steve was a true advocate of the town with a clear vision about the future of Aylesbury and the residents’ needs.”
Former town councillor Mark Willis paid tribute on Twitter and wrote: “A good friend, Aylesbury Mayor Steve Patrick died last night. My thoughts are with his family RIP mate.”
Councillor Denise Summers, a former mayor, said she was ‘devastated’ by the news of Mr Patrick’s death, who she had known since the council was formed in 2001.
Ms Summers said: “I burst into tears for his loss, for the loss to his family and the loss to the mayoralty.
“He had always been so supportive of the mayoralty and he was so proud and thrilled to be made mayor.
“I don’t think I have ever seen a grin as wide as his at the mayor making.
“And now it has all been snatched away.
“I will miss his warmth, and his common sense and practical approach at the council will be sorely missed.”
Lib Dem district councillor and former mayor Raj Khan said Aylesbury had lost ‘a great son’.
Mr Khan said: “It feels like losing a family member. He was a friend of the people.”
District and town Conservative Councillor Mark Winn said: “I may have not always agreed with Steve but he had the best interests of the town at heart and he always worked hard for the town.”
Labour district group leader, Councillor Robin Stuchbury, said: “I’m absolutely shocked for his family and for their loss.
“As a councillor he will really be missed, he was as passionate about Aylesbury as anyone was likely to be.
“He was a hard working man and I considered him to be an able voice for the community.”
UKIP town and district councillor Chris Adams also offered his condolences, tweeting: “A very sad day for the town of Aylesbury. Condolences to his family.”
Buckinghamshire County Council chairman Carl Etholen said: “I’m deeply shocked and saddened at the death of Steve Patrick, the Mayor of Aylesbury. My sincere condolences go to his wife, Janice, and the family, who are in our thoughts and prayers.”