Born in London and an Ilkley resident since 1941, Eileen Mogridge who has died aged 96 became a well known figure in the town through her long association with Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society.

She joined the Amateurs in 1965, appearing on stage in the chorus and later in several principal roles. These included the stern Rachael Pym in the Quaker Girl and the Empress in Magyar Melody - Eileen played the stage aunt to her son, the late John Mogridge. Following her retirement from the stage, Eileen joined the management committee and was soon appointed assistant secretary - a position she occupied with distinction for nearly two decades. She felt honoured and privileged to be elected the society’s president on two occasions; Eileen’s first term as president was in 1979-80 but she was amazed and delighted, in her mid-eighties, to be chosen as president for the millennium year.

In the early 1950s, Eileen taught at Miss Sutton’s Kindergarten School on the Grove (the buildings now occupied by the United Reform Church Administrative Offices). During the long school summer holidays she also gave tuition to children who were tuberculosis patients at Middleton Hospital. This work led to her appointment as secretary to the eminent surgeons Edmund Lecutier and James Davidson, also the pathologist John Dawson Bates. There followed twenty two happy years at Middleton - including several roles in the hospital’s annual Christmas pantomimes - until her retirement from the health service in 1977.

Eileen was a keen member of the RSPCA and until her late eighties could be seen with a collecting tin in Ilkley Tesco on the charity’s annual flag day. The last few years were blighted by severe physical incapacity caused by Parkinson’s disease. However, Eileen continued to live in her own home and bore the indignities of old age with patience and good humour. The independence of spirit remained until the very end; just a few days before her death, Eileen said to friends that she “would like to be in a show again”.

She is survived by sons Peter and Geoffrey; grand children Karen, Timothy, Martyn and Julien; great-grand children Samantha, Matthew and Beezie.