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Medway councillor Peter Rodberg has died

By Nicola Jordan

Veteran Medway councillor Peter Rodberg has died at the age of 90.

He had suffered heart problems for many years and passed away with his family by his side.

Born in London, he went into the ice cream sales business when he could not find work in his trade as a plumber.

Peter Rodberg helped so many people, providing jobs and through his council work
Peter Rodberg helped so many people, providing jobs and through his council work

He had the two first Mr Softee franchises in the country.

He had a fleet 32 vans operating across Kent and moved to a bigger office at Star Hill, Rochester

He built the ice cream kiosk in the grounds of Rochester Castle, which is still run by the family.

He sold ice cream and hot food at Allhallows holiday park and owned a supermarket in Cliffe.

He also started P&H car hire business in Rochester and over the years he employed hundreds of people.

Cllr Rodberg was elected on to Kent County Council in the 1970s and, later, on to Rochester City Council and Medway Council until 2005.

In 1986 he sold up and emigrated with his wife and youngest daughter to the Gold Coast in Australia.

Peter Rodberg had the two first Mr Softee franchises in the country. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
Peter Rodberg had the two first Mr Softee franchises in the country. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

But after years, homesickness and the love of his family drew him back to Medway.

He had a cardiac arrest in 2011 and was given a 2% chance of survival.

But such was his determination he recovered in two weeks.

A grandfather, he leaves a wife, Fern, and daughters Debbie and Donna.

He lived on the Hoo Peninsula for about 25 years, campaigning on behalf of residents, including getting a crossing to help elderly people access shops and a bus stop in safety.

Both his father and grandfather were tailors, so from an early age he sported a suit and looked immaculate all the time.

A tribute from the family read: "He will be remembered for being so loving and caring, his wonderful sense of humour, his kindness, generosity and great strength of character." His funeral and burial is on Wednesday at 2.30pm at St Margaret’s Church, High Halstow.

No flowers, donations to wHoo Cares, via Thomas Fowle funeral directors on 01634 851133.

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