The chairman of South Holland Local History Group, Dennis Wolfe, has died at his home in Lime Court, Spalding, aged 82.
Group treasurer for 17 years Gordon Nottingham said Dennis died on January 3.
Gordon said: “I rang him to see how he was and he said he had been ill over Christmas. I went round and made him a cup of tea and he died some time after I left in the afternoon.
“He was a modest man, but if he had to do a thing he would do it.
“He was a big support to me because we were both at sea when he took over and we worked together.
“He’ll be missed. He was a friend. The committee has decided to carry on as usual.”
Previous chairman and group founder Rose Clark, a former history teacher at Spalding High School for 23 years, said Dennis had taken over the role about four years ago and had been a member for around a year prior to that.
Dennis was keen on archaeology and Gordon says Dennis persuaded Time Team presenter Francis Pryor to talk to members on one occasion.
Dennis’s long-term friend Sue Dean said Dennis leaves a wife, Jan, and six children.
She said Dennis had been in the Merchant Navy in his younger days and travelled all over the world.
He had also worked on luxury charter yachts and met all kinds of celebrities.
Sue said he had then joined the Police Force, eventually retiring from the Suffolk force.
Sue said: “He had a very interesting life.
“He was from Sutterton originally and when he came back to this area he moved to Holbeach. He moved to Spalding after eight or nine years ago.”