Family pays tribute to Norfolk social care chief who died during council meeting

Harold Bodmer with his wife Julie Bodmer on the Norfolk Broads.

Harold Bodmer with his wife Julie Bodmer on the Norfolk Broads. - Credit: Archant

While he was a leading figure in social care at a national level, Harold Bodmer was also a dedicated father and husband.

Harold Bodmer, executive director of Norfolk County Council's adult social services department, has

Harold Bodmer, executive director of Norfolk County Council's adult social services department, has died. - Credit: Archant

Today his family paid tribute to the man whose life began in southern Africa and ended abruptly while working for vulnerable residents of Norfolk.

Mr Bodmer, 61, was the director of adult social services at Norfolk County Council but suffered a heart attack during a meeting at County Hall at 4pm on Wednesday. Despite attempts by colleagues and emergency crews, Mr Bodmer could not be revived.

His sudden death has caused an outpouring of tributes from across the social care sector, and from those who knew him closest.

Son Joel Bodmer, speaking on behalf of his family, said: 'He was a dedicated father and husband and loved his family very much.

Harold Bodmer with his daughter Holly Bodmer.

Harold Bodmer with his daughter Holly Bodmer. - Credit: Archant


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'He had a great sense of humour and was very sociable, with a youthful and mischievous side to his character.' Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (previously Rhodesia), Mr Bodmer went on to study at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Joel said growing up in Zimbabwe had a profound effect on Mr Bodmer and it shaped him during the rest of his life. He met his wife Julie at Manchester Airport as they both volunteered for an organisation providing holidays for disabled children, and they had been married for 36 years until his death.

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Joel added: 'He had a passion for books, he loved comedies such as Only Fools and Horses, and he was a big fan of The Archers.

'He had recently taken up rowing and he enjoyed golf.

'He was obsessed with classic and vintage cars, and he could tell the make of a car and the year it was made.

'I can remember times when we watched films and he would point out if the film-makers made a mistake with the numberplate not matching the car. He always put other people first and I think lots of people felt he was their friend.'

Mr Bodmer leaves his wife Julie, sons Joel and Sam, and daughter Holly.

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