Obituary John Waller: Passionate writer of letters to local press dies aged 74

John Waller and his wife Barbara. Picture: John Oakes

John Waller and his wife Barbara. Picture: John Oakes - Credit: Archant

A man who was known for his passionate letter-writing to the local press and his unwavering commitment to the community has died, aged 74.

John Waller was a devoted supporter of the Bounds Green Liberal Democrats and also spent many years in the Bounds Green and District Residents’ Association, where his background as an architect allowed him to speak informatively about local planning issues.

Appearing at local meetings, political rallies and civic functions, he was a face that the community knew well.

Not a month would pass without Mr Waller writing to the local press about planning or ecological issues, thrashed out in e-mails with his friends and colleagues in the Liberal Democrat party.

As a result his words were published in local columns with remarkable regularity. The North Circular “improvements,” parking issues, architectural conservation, the fate of Israel and Palestine and Muslim-Christian tensions (he attended synagogue as well as church), were among the issues he cared about.

Mr Waller will also be remembered for his incredible generosity – in one instance helping a close friend’s grandson, who has cerebral palsy, get several periods of specialised therapy.

Mr Waller was born in 1938 in Hornsey, where he went to school.

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He did a degree in architecture at evening classes before training in town planning and working for Enfield Borough Council, where he was involved with many local projects.

In 1977 he married his wife Barbara and the couple had two daughters.

Mr Waller was a vocal and ever-cheerful supporter of the community.

Friend John Oakes said: “John Waller was the sort of person you are always glad to see, with his genial smile and optimistic outlook. Conversation was never a problem with him.

“His strong public conscience, guided by a decidedly ecumenical form of Christianity, meant there was always a burning issue to discuss, whether it was the loss of a hospital or library, or the situation in Israel or Cyprus.”

He added: “John believed in action too as the postboxes of local MPs and many other prominent politicians bore witness...Many people in public life will miss the man whose frequent sign-off was ‘salaam, shalom, peace.’”