FORMER Lord Mayor of Oxford and “stalwart” Labour city councillor Elizabeth Standingford has died, age 94.

The great-grandmother was first elected on both Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council for Northway in 1977 and was described as a “feisty” woman who was dedicated to the people she served.

Her husband, Bert, was also a city councillor and the pair were described as “absolute stalwarts of the Labour Party”.

Elizabeth Florence Mary Oliver was born in Warwick on August 28, 1921, to parents Joshua and Elizabeth.

She was the eldest of 10 siblings: named Albert, Henry, Joan, Violet, Bill, Dorothy, Eddie, Charlie and Helen.

At the age of 11 she was taken out of school by her father and made to work as a maid in a house. She was also responsible for looking after all her younger brothers and sisters.

Mrs Standingford worked in a munitions factory during the Second World War and then as a home-help after the war was over.

She was married to Bertie Standingford, a storekeeper at British Leyland, now Rover, in 1945 at St Clements in Oxford.

After marrying, the couple moved to Meaden Hill, in the Northway estate where they then lived for around 45 years.

She had two daughters – Elizabeth in 1948 and Susan, whom she adopted from her sister Dorothy, who was born in 1945.

Both daughters died in their forties, Susan from cancer and Elizabeth from liver failure. Mrs Standingford became a councillor for Northway on both Oxford City Council, after first getting elected in 1977, as well as Oxfordshire County Council.

In 1987, 48 hours before Mr Standingford was about to become Lord Mayor of Oxford, he died of a heart attack and Mrs Standingford took his place soon after.

She was Lord Mayor of the city for two years.

Outside of work her main passion was gardening, and she grew all her own vegetables. Her family called her a “walking thesaurus” and said she also had a knack for crossword puzzles and playing Scrabble.

She was a governor for Northway School and was also a magistrate at Oxford Magistrates’ Court for many years.

Mrs Standingford died in her sleep at Madley Park House in Witney.

She is survived by her granddaughters Luci Ward, 42, and Sophia Ross, 40, and her great-grandchildren Tabitha, 11, Eden, nine, Poppy, six and Beau, four.

Her funeral was held on Monday at Oxford Crematorium. Her ashes were interred in her husband’s grave in Headington Cemetery on her request.

She had planned her funeral eight years in advance, noting the hymns she would like. She had asked her family to remember her by this thought: “I have always loved my family. I wish them to live their life to the full and to think of me sometimes.”