A TRIBUTE has been paid to a well-known former accountant and community volunteer who achieved as much in retirement as when at work.

James Frederick Dowzall, known as Jim, who died in August, was a partner in Clarke Dowzall & Co accountants in Myrtle Walk in Bingley.

On retirement he became involved in voluntary work, which he enjoyed hugely.

Cherished by his family, his wife Brenda said: Jim was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be missed by all his family. We had many happy years - he was my best friend.”

Jim was born on April 39, 1935, to Fred and Elsie, who ran a sweet, newsagents and tobacconist shop in Leeds.

He attended Gipton School followed by Roundhay Grammar School, where he excelled at cricket, playing for the school and the junior team at Leeds Cricket Club. He told his family how he made a name for myself by once running out one of his school masters.

With a keen interest in maths, Jim became an accountant, working a five-year apprenticeship with John Vine McMillan & Co.

‘In those days you did not receive any pay and my dad had to pay a premium of 50 guineas,’ he wrote in a memoir he wrote for his family and friends.

He undertook National Service at the Army Pay Corps in Devizes, Wiltshire, being promoted to sergeant and posted to the Royal Engineers Training and Reserve Unit in Ripon.

While there he took a correspondence course and qualified as a chartered company secretary.

In 1957 he married Audrey Mortimer, having to obtain a special pass from the army to do so. They moved to Kent, where Jim worked as a firm’s chief accountant, returning to Yorkshire in 1959.

In 1961 the couple had a son Geoffrey, who now lives in Staffordshire.

His career took him across the North, culminating in him partnering with Brian Clarke - who already had a practice in Leeds - to form Clarke Dowzall & Co.

Audrey sadly died in 1997, two years after they had moved to Silsden. In 2000 Jim retired.

Jim later met Brenda Lockwood, who worked as the Lord Mayor's appeal officer in City Hall. The couple were together for 24 years, 17 as a married couple. Jim had suggested marriage to Brenda many times ‘but she always said to wait until the time was right’.

Unbeknown to him, Brenda arranged the wedding as a surprise on his 70th birthday. He found out only six weeks beforehand.

‘Some people don’t get to have one ‘bite of the cherry’ but I have been fortunate enough to have had two very happy marriages, and I consider myself extremely lucky,’ he wrote.

Jim gained two step-daughters Catherine and Suzanne, and later two son-in-laws Sean and Jeremy. He had six ‘wonderful grandchildren’ Ellie, Hayden, Katie, Lucas, Jenna and Freddie.

Since retirement Jim has been involved in voluntary work which he enjoyed. He spent ten years as a magistrate and almost ten years with the Friends of Airedale hospital charity as a guide and treasurer.

He spent more than 29 years with the British Legion, as treasurer and later chairman. One of his greatest achievements, he said, was to re-organise the Remembrance Sunday parade in Bingley.

Jim volunteered with West Yorkshire Police, with Care UK at Eccleshill Treatment Centre and as a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator. He was instrumental in setting up Idle Library.

In May 2015, in recognition of his voluntary work, Jim, then aged 80, and Brenda were invited to the garden party at Buckingham Palace.

He also leaves a cousin Hazel in Derby, and her family. Jim’s many friends both local and further afield, brought him much happiness over the years.

Jim’s funeral took place on August 27 at Bingley Parish Church.

Brenda added: “There is a saying that death leaves a heartache that no-one can heal, but love leaves memories that no-one can steal.”