Mona Adams died just before RiverTribe went to press. At peace and with her husband Bernard, she passed away in her Conservatory looking out on her beloved garden in Palewell Park, East Sheen.

Readers will remember her as an insightful Education Correspondent who wrote with great heart and intelligence about a subject which was critically important to her but her relationship with the community went so much further than that.

In the last year of her life, Mona, who leaves behind two children, Polly and Amy, served her community as Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, having won an East Sheen seat for the Liberal Democrats in the local elections of 2018.

She was a familiar sight at many official functions, her laughter covering the fact that she had been diagnosed with late stage cancer just a year earlier.

Her time as a local councillor followed service in several key community posts including school governorships at Richmond Park Academy and Sheen Mount School.

She loved writing and at one time worked for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was a career that suited her gregarious nature, energy and enthusiasm. She never tired of meeting new people and confronting new challenges as she undertook the most important role of her working life as Deputy Mayor of our borough. There must have been some terrible moments but Mona knew how to keep smiling.

Of course, for Mona the top priority was always her husband, who she called Bernardo, and her children and grand-children. She was a common-sense individual who inspired but also entertained her family.

Bernard, in addressing the congregation at Mortlake Crematorium, said he knew several Monas but did not realise how truly exceptional she was until, after she passed away, literally dozens of notes came through their front-door describing her kindness and her commitment to this community.

They played Daniel Powter’s Bad Day, a favourite of Mona’s, at the funeral service and as Reverend Jeff Hopkin Williams, Mayor’s Chaplain, said, there certainly weren’t many of those in the life of Mona Adams.