Whittlesea councillors and staff are paying tribute to Cr John Butler following his death yesterday after an illness.

In a statement, mayor Ricky Kirkham said councillors and staff wished to extend their deepest sympathies to Cr Butler’s family.

Cr Kirkham said the council wanted to acknowledge and pay respect to Cr Butler’s contribution to the nation, his local community, and the council.

Cr Butler spent 39 years in the Australian Regular Army, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring.

He was elected to the council to represent the north ward last October.

The Doreen resident was involved in number of community organisations, including as a volunteer firefighter with the Doreen CFA.

He also recently served as the inaugural president of the Doreen RSL sub-branch.

Cr Kirkham said Cr Butler was highly respected by the community and council staff who had the privilege of working with him, adding that he provided his time without question and was a trusted mentor to many.

“His warm, kind nature and humour were notable traits that will leave a lasting legacy amongst his family and friends,” he said.

“Cr Butler will be sorely missed. Our thoughts continue to be with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”