Milton Keynes founding father Luing Cowley dies at the age of 95.

editorial image

A founding father of Milton Keynes who was so respected that a hospital building was named after him has died peacefully at the age of 95.

Luing Cowley MBE was a city Conservative councillor for many years, a popular mayor, and an Alderman.

He was also a former magistrate, a founder member of Bletchley Rotary Club and avid supporter of the city orchestra.

Known for his fairness and common sense, Mr Cowley chaired the very first Milton Keynes District Health Authority. He was so successful that an outpatient building at MK hospital was named after him.

Until 1980 he ran the Bletchley car dealership Cowley and Wilson, which was founded by his father.

The father-of-four was a Spitfire pilot during the war, flying in India, Cairo, South Africa and the Battle of Alamein. In 2014, at the age of 91, he took to the cockpit again to raise money for the rotary club by flying a loop the loop in a glider.

“The ground seemed to come up awfully fast towards the end!” he said at the time.

The same year Mr Cowley was awarded his MBE for services to the community.

During his long life he never lived further than three miles away from Milton Keynes, the city he watched - and helped - come into fruition.

He once said: “We have got over a lot of snags and we learned a lot in our early days. It’s no doubt the most successful town since the war.”

Mr Cowley died on Wednesday evening at a Milton Keynes nursing home.

“He will be very sadly missed. Milton Keynes has lost a truly magnificent man,” said one friend.