“Carol was a battler, she was very dedicated and a great friend.”

Those were amongst the words of friends who last night paid tribute to Bicester councillor Carol Steward, who died on Wednesday.

The 63-year-old town and Cherwell district councillor was described by family and colleagues as a “battler” who fought for local issues.

Mrs Steward, who had a son Daniel, and two stepdaughters Kate Simmons and Jo Steward, was a former committee chairman at the town and district councils. She oversaw Bicester in Bloom and had been a governor at Bicester Community College since 1999.

In 2004, Mrs Steward was given just weeks to live after being diagnosed with leukaemia. But she defied doctors and battled through chemotherapy and eventually had a bone marrow transplant.

Sadly the disease returned, and on Wednesday Mrs Steward died surrounded by her family at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital.

Tributes were led by her 24-year-old, who described his mum as a “fighter”.

He said: “She did so many things for so many people across so many different areas. She was never too busy for anyone and always helped anyone on her ward who came to her with a problem.

“She would throw herself into it, there were no half measures, if she was going to do a job then she was going to do it right.”

During her illness she spearheaded a campaign to get as many people as possible to join the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow register.

Mr Steward said: “She had so much fight in her eight years ago when she was diagnosed with leukaemia and this time, she always gave it a crack.”

One of her proudest moments was watching her son marry his fiancee Emma last year. He said: “She held on so long for our wedding, that was really important for all of us.”

Tributes poured in for Mrs Steward yesterday.

Fellow Cherwell councillor Lynn Pratt said: “Carol was very community minded and would do anything for anyone.

“Carol was a battler, she was very dedicated and a great friend.”

Bicester town mayor Rose Stratford said: “Carol put her heart into everything she did, and she worked tirelessly even when fighting her health problems.”

Cherwell’s leader Barry Wood said she had a “terrific empathy with people from all walks of life,” and opposition leader Les Sibley described her as a “hard-working campaigner who fought for local issues that were important to the people of Bicester.”