ANOTHER former senior journalist from The Press of yesteryear has died aged 95, only days after the death of former assistant editor Chris Brayne.

Ron Willis, of Osbaldwick, joined the then Yorkshire Evening Press as an office boy in 1940 before serving three years in the RAF as a ground wireless operator in India.

After his return to the paper, he went on to become deputy in the newspaper's features department and second on the news desk.

A reporter with an immaculate shorthand note, he was a regular face at the all the senior courts in York, city council meetings and the Convocations of the Church of England at St Williams College.

During his 22 years in the features department his wrote a weekly column, Looking Around, which dealt with local history and architecture, in a style which attracted a steadfast following from both fellow reporters and readers. He retired in 1984 after 44 years with the paper.

He became a council member of York Georgian Society, and a member of York Civic Trust and of the Friends of Fairfax House.

With his wife, Thelma, whom he met as a copy typist on the paper in Coney Street, he produced seven books, the principal one being Portrait of York, later re-published as The Illustrated Portrait of York, which like his other books included photographs taken by Thelma.

It was the dying wish in 1999 of his friend and former colleague, Stacey Brewer, that helped him through his later years after Thelma died after more than 60 years of marriage.

Stacey’s daughter, Lynne Taylor, said her father, who had been great friends with Ron, made her promise to look after him if Thelma went first, and she did.

"It’s amazing, after all these years, to think I have been able to see that promise right through to the end," she said.

“It has been the most pleasurable promise I have ever made. I have spent many hours over numerous cups of coffee and scones in a heady assortment of cafes and farm shops enjoying Uncle Ron’s encyclopedic knowledge of history and delighting in his well- remembered tales of his times in the services.

“Whenever we went on holiday we always sent cards and brought back books, wine, cheese and little-known ciders for him. It has been an absolute pleasure to include him in our adventures.”

*Mr Willis' funeral will take place at York Crematorium at 11.20am on Wednesday January 22.