DISTINGUISHED scientist Professor Basil Crowley has died at the age of 65 after a brave struggle with cancer.

Scientist and parish councillor for more than 15 years, Professor Crowley was described as a "marvellous" and "intelligent" man and was still contributing to parish council work from his hospital bed two days before he died.

His friends, family and colleagues have said his great knowledge and sharp analytical mind will be "hugely missed".

He was well-known for his persistence and determination in leading the successful campaign to Save Radley Lakes.

Basil Crowley was born in 1950 in Dublin to parents Marcus and Bobby. He had two brothers, David and Jon, and a sister named Jane.

The family lived in Dublin for about three years before moving to Northern Ireland.

At the age of 11 they moved to Macclesfield and Professor Crowley attended Kings School.

He then went on to receive a scholarship at the University of Oxford where he studied physics.

He met his first wife Anna at university and the pair were married when he was 25. The had one son, Phillip, in 1990 but divorced in 1991.

Professor Crowley started his working life as a meteorological officer in Brackley then came back to Oxford so do a research fellowship.

In about 1974 he started work at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment then went on to become a distinguished scientist.

He was offered a post as visiting physics lecturer in 2010 at Oxford University.

In the 1990s he met Lynda Pasquire, nee Baker, and the pair started living together in Radley from 1992. They married three years before Professor Crowley's death.

Professor Crowley is best known in the Abingdon and Radley area for spearheading campaign Save Radley Lakes tirelessly for three years.

His scientific background made him ideally suited to the campaign, which saw members of the public rally around to try to save the lakes from being filled with power station ash.

Professor Crowley chaired the group throughout the campaign and in 2008 nPower gave Thrupp Lake to the community for nature conservation.

It is now managed by Earth Trust.

His friends said he had an amazing capacity to absorb information, which led to him producing many reports during the campaign on topics such as ecology, waste ash disposal and flooding.

No effort to further the campaign seemed to be too much. For the whole three years of the campaign, holidays and weekends away for he and his wife just did not happen.

For the three years of the campaign he devoted his life to saving both Thrupp and Bullfield lakes.

He also spent many years on Radley Parish Council, starting in 2001 and working until his death.

He was also vice-chairman of the council and chairman of the finance and administration committee.

In his spare time, Professor Crowley was a keen photographer and loved snapping pictures of the lakes and local wildlife with his wife Lynda.

Earlier this year he was handed a well-deserved award from the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire at a reception at Christ Church, Oxford University in recognition of his exceptional services to the community.

Professor Crowley died on March 29 after a battle with cancer. He was aged 65-years-old.

He is survived by wife Lynda, son Philip, and siblings David, Jon and Jane.

His funeral was held on Monday, April 11 at St James the Great Church in Radley.