A celebrated magistrate who went on to be made a Freeman of Helston has died at the age of 94.

Jean Simmonds, who balanced family life with serving the community she lived in, died at her home in Helston on Armistice Day.

Her family is organising a private funeral, but donations in aid of Cancer Research UK can be sent via the funeral directors, Pendle Funeral Services.

Christened Isobel Jean Dent, but always known by her middle name, Jean was born in Toronto, Canada where her parents had emigrated in the 1920s.

After the birth of her brother, the family returned to Britain and lived in Lincolnshire, where the family grew further. She later qualified as a state registered nurse in Sheffield.

It was not until 1965 - by now 'Mrs Simmonds', having married husband Ted in 1947 - that Jean arrived in Helston, after her husband took up a post as education officer at RNAS Culdrose.

She became involved in the community immediately and was made chair of the Culdrose Wives' Club. She also joined the Business and Professional Women's Club in Helston, was a founder member of the Helston branch of Save the Children Fund and was Culdrose representative on the steering committee for Helston Family Planning Clinic, as well as being its first nurse.

She served as chairman of the Harvest Fair Ladies' Committee for six years and in 1968 became a governor of Helston Grammar School.

During those five year she was inspired to train as a teacher, specialising in geography and maths. Between 1980 and 81 she organised adult and numeracy classes in Helston and opened a second class in Mullion.

Falmouth Packet:

She joined the Helston Community Hospital League of Friends in 1988.

Alongside her work in the community, Jean was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1970, serving on the Helston and Kerrier Bench, and was chairman from 1988 until 1991 when she joined the amalgamated Bench of Falmouth and Kerrier.

She was chair of the Juvenile Bench and first chair of the Joint Juvenile Panel, as well a a member of the Cornwall County Probation Committee for 18 years, probation representative on the Social Services Committee and served a six-year term on the Cornwall Magistrates Courts Committee, responsible for all courts in Cornwall.

She helped to found the Dreadnought Centre in Redruth, which works with children and young people experiencing difficulties in their lives, and was chair of it for nine years, as well as Cornwall representative for probation on the Regional Staff Development Unit at Bristol, serving seven western counties.

In 1995 Jean was made a Freeman of Helston by the town council, which said at the time: "The council pays tribute to the dignified and unassuming manner in which she has served the local community throughout the past 30 years."

Twenty years later she was asked back by Helston Town Council, to be presented with a badge allowing her to publicly display that honour.

She is survived by her children Kate and Richard, and her granddaughter Jenna.