WYRE Forest dignitaries, family and friends packed out a Stourport church to remember the town's leading lady Elizabeth Mills who died aged 101 last month.

The memorial service at St Bartholomew's Church in Areley Kings was held yesterday to honour the life of Mrs Mills, Wyre Forest's first honorary alderman and a former Stourport Mayor.

Mrs Mills died at Ravenhurst Residential Care Home in Stourport, where she had lived since 2007, on Wednesday, January 1.

A Stourport branch Royal British Legion standard bearer stood outside the church as mourners arrived and at the front of the church as the service was held.

Dignitaries paying their respects included Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier, Mayor of Stourport Ken Henderson and Mayor of Bewdley Linda Candlin.

Former Mayor of Stourport David Little, who had known Mrs Mills for more than 30 years, spoke at the service about the numerous organisations Mrs Mills was involved in aside from her local government roles.

He said: "Community work was in her blood and when she wasn't at council meetings she was heavily involved in Stourport Inner Wheel, being a founding member."

She also worked tirelessly for the Worcestershire Girl Guiding movement and as a governor at Lickhill Middle and Stourport High schools.

Mrs Mills was awarded an MBE for her services to the local community after spending 23 years on Wyre Forest District Council and 12 years on Worcestershire County Council.

She also had the Stourport Day Centre renamed after her in 2010 for her work as president.

Mr Little added: "We have lost one of the greatest local ladies to serve our local community. She was a wonderful youthful lady who made people half her age shrink at her workload. We will miss you Elizabeth."

Reverend Mark Turner introduced the service which included readings by Wyre Forest District Council chairman Fran Oborski and Sue Beverley.

Attendees enthusiastically joined members of the St Bartholomew's choir with hymns at the service including Abide With Me, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Jerusalem and I Vow To Thee, My Country.

Mrs Mills was born in Derbyshire and grew up in Rugeley before moving to Stourport with her late husband, Leslie, in 1956.

Her family also attended the service with her son Stephen thanking people for attending and thanking Ravenhurst Residential Care Home for looking after her in her later years.

He said: "After about the first 25 minutes, she'd re-organised the residents' committee. We would have expected that from her."

He then referred to her by her full name which was Gertrude Elizabeth Mills and said: "G.E.M, she was."