TRIBUTES have been paid to a beloved 'pillar of the community' who will be remembered for his kindness.

Dave Harvey, who has been described as 'friendly, kind and gentle', passed away at his Malmesbury home surrounded by his family on Thursday, March 7 aged 79.

His family have received an outpouring of heartfelt messages from the community since his death.

A great family man, Dave had two children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren, who will miss his great sense of humour.

Dave, who was diagnosed with cancer and heart problems several years ago, moved to Malmesbury in 1970 after securing an IT manager role at Hills of Swindon and became one of the first residents of the White Lion Park estate.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Dave HarveyDave Harvey (Image: Maisie Harvey)

After a few years of settling into the town, he decided to threw himself into community life starting with helping organise the town's Silver Jubilee celebrations for Elizabeth II in 1977.

The retired IT manager was also instrumental in re-establishing the Malmesbury Amateur Boxing Club and became a swimming instructor and lifeguard with Malmesbury Marlins, and later served as chairman and president of the club.

He also joined the town's youth committee and enjoyed taking part in community events such as the carnival and street parties.

In the early 2000s he joined forces with several other residents to form the White Lion Recreation Association, which helped build a safe play area for children on the estate.

In more recent years, he spent a lot of time helping charitable organisations and played a big part in running the raffle at the Emergency Services Show.

He was also a keen Freemason and raised money for Brighter Futures charity during his time as worshipful masters chair at St Aldhelm Lodge.

His son Chris, who works at Dyson in Malmesbury, said: "He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and the community.

"He will be remembered for his sense of humour, kindness, and stories about his past.

"Dave was friendly, kind and gentle and always had an interested in other people.

"He love being close to the countryside and walking his dog on the riverwalk.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Dave Harvey with ChicoDave Harvey with Chico (Image: Maisie Harvey)

"He would always stop to talk to people on his walks in his bright yellow coat and would do anything for anyone.

"The community has posted lots of heart warming comments about their memories of Dave, who was clearly considered a pillar of Malmesbury, on social media.

"The whole family have been pleasantly surprised about how many people knew him and had such positive words about their times with him.

"We are happy that he had such a positive effect on so many peoples lives."

A celebration of his life will take place on Wednesday, April 3 at North Wiltshire Crematorium in Royal Wootton Bassett at 10am followed by a gathering at Malmesbury town hall.

The family has requested family flowers only and that any donations go to Brighter Futures via Brooks Independent Funeral Directors.