Former journalist Ray Miller, who began his career as a copy boy aged 14 before rising to become editor at the Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News, has died at the age of 90.
Mr Miller is reported to have died peacefully at Warrington Hospital having taken ill around two weeks ago with pneumonia.
His son Jeff said a modest funeral ceremony is likely to take place given the ongoing pandemic and requested any tributes to his father to be made via the newspaper where he made his name.
He said Ray would not have wanted contributors to shy from an accurate account of his life, and asked for people to share their memories and thoughts, whether “good, bad or indifferent”.
A full tribute piece will be published in next week’s Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News.
Ray Miller was born on Blantyre Street in Runcorn in March, 1931, and married Mary Miller, née Michell, on his birthday in 1963.
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His wife Mary died in 2011.
Ray remained as a columnist at the Weekly News until his retirement in 2015, 70 years after his career began.
He was credited with saving the newspaper in 1980 during a printers' strike when, as editor, he and his colleagues pooled their redundancy payments to fund the printing of editions in Nottingham after several weeks out of circulation.
During the tumult he also salvaged some wartime editions he was told had ended up "on Rainhill tip".
Tributes, stories and memories of Ray Miller can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org