A WELL-KNOWN villager who was clerk of the Kilbarchan General Society for more than four decades has died at the age of 86.

John Connell, who lived in Kilbarchan all his life, passed away over the weekend after suffering from prostate cancer.

He was well-respected for serving as president, and latterly clerk, of the Kilbarchan General Society – one of the country’s oldest charitable institutions.

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The organisation consists of businessmen, tradesmen, artisans and private citizens dedicated to raising funds for local charities and projects.

Mr Connell was also well-known in the church community, as he was session clerk for Kilbarchan West Church for many years before it joined with the East Church.

His brother Drew said: “John was an loveable man. We were a close family and he was a great brother.

“He always wanted to help people and loved Kilbarchan. He was quite an unassuming guy and was very committed to the society and the church.

“Several members of my family have been involved with the society, so it’s been a very important thing.”

Mr Connell’s career started at the Clydesdale Works, in Bridge of Weir, before he moved into administrative work for the council.

As well as Drew, he leaves behind his sister Margaret.

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Kilbarchan Parish Church has paid tribute to Mr Connell on Facebook, stating: “We know he will be missed. We offer our deepest condolences to John’s family and many friends.”

The Kilbarchan General Society posted: “The society is mourning the death of John Connell, who will be sorely missed.”

Mr Connell's funeral was laid to rest yesterday.