TRIBUTES will today be paid to former Mayor of Sandown and active Conservative Party member Constance Ward (nee Cowley), at her funeral service.

Constance, known as Connie, was born in Luton in 1942 but her family moved to London a couple of years later.

She didn't have any siblings so felt very much alone as she grew up.

She started work in an insurance office and made a career in that field.

Connie married quite young but the marriage quickly ended in divorce.

She later met and married Malcolm Cowley and had a happy marriage.

They moved to the Island when Malcolm was offered an engineering job there. It took a while for Connie to find a job in insurance again, but stayed in that field until she retired.

Connie and Malcolm became members of Shanklin Conservative Club and both ended up on the management committee for several years.

She became a member of the Conservative Party and took an active role in its activities.

Connie loved dancing and dogs and spent a lot of time following these interests.

When Connie retired, she became more deeply involved in the Island’s Conservative Party activities.

She helped set up the Sandown branch of the Conservative Association and was branch chairman for several years, before becoming branch secretary.

She stood for election to the Isle of Wight Council in Lake, and Sandown South for the town council in 2005. 

She missed election to the Isle of Wight Council by just 20 votes but did get elected to Sandown Town Council where she served until 2021.

She was elected as Mayor of Sandown for 2012/2013.

Her husband became seriously ill with dementia and died in hospital in 2014. 

A few years later, she and Cllr Ian Ward became partners and had several happy years together.

The couple married at Mountbatten Hospice, shortly before Connie died.

A funeral service will be held at the IW Crematorium at 12.45 today (Friday).