A COMMUNITY-minded businessman who was involved in a vast array of Bicester groups and organisations has died aged 98.

Benjamin John Jackson, known to friends as John, was, for decades, a prominent member of Bicester's community and supported the town in a number of different ways.

He played key roles in the council, the chamber of commerce, the rotary club - all while running the building company passed onto him by his father.

Mr Jackson, who died on January 30, was born on January 3, 1920, to parents Benjamin and Ellen.

After school, he served as a trainee carpenter in his father’s building company and also helped with the firm’s activities as an undertaker.

His father died of leukaemia in 1940. After this, Mr Jackson joined the army and, during the Second World War, served overseas. He travelled via South America to Africa and then into Italy, working as a tank driver, gunner and, at times, radio operator.

After the war Mr Jackson took over the family business, B Jackson (Bicester)Ltd.

It was also during this period that he met his wife Millicent. The couple would go on to have three children together.

He was an independent councillor for six years and became the chairman of the Bicester Urban District Council in 1954.

He was also a founder member of the Rotary Club of Bicester and served as chairman of Bicester Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Jackson also served as a magistrate and a tax commissioner.

He became a member and ultimately president of the Oxfordshire branch of the National Federation of Builders, serving as a voice for smaller companies on a range of committees.

His involvement with the federation would last until age 70.

Mr Jackson was also active within the Masonic community, rising to a position in the Supreme Grand Chapter of England.

In the midst of all his other engagements, working with PRM Smith he created Bicester Plant Hire, based in Ambrosden, and then, in the 1970s, Bicester Timber.

Both were intended to make better use of plant and equipment already owned by the family building business.

After the unexpected death of Millicent, in 1990, Mr Jackson stepped back from his public facing activities, but continued to enjoy serving in the shop part of Bicester Timber until he retired at the age of 80.

He then completed a City and Guilds of London Institute course in computing skills and maintained a small woodworking facility in his garage.

In 2015, suffering with dementia, he moved to Cherwood Nursing Home.

Mr Jackson is survived by his three children and two grandchildren.

A funeral will be held at Bicester Methodist Church on February 20, followed by internment in the cemetery at St Edburg's Church and then onto the Littlebury Hotel. Family flowers only.Donations to a dementia charity via Hancocks in North Street.