Diane Revell, who was a Thurrock Council councillor for Orsett for 17 years and mayor between 2007 and 2008, passed away on Saturday.
During her tenure as mayor, Mrs Revell launched the charity Thurrock Children's Music Trust and was an active and long-serving member of the health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee.
She is survived by husband Mike, who is also a former councillor, and their children and grandchildren.
Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: "It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of Diane, who was very well respected and achieved a great deal in Thurrock.
"Diane served Orsett and the borough exceptionally well during her years as a councillor and even helped introduce democracy in the former Eastern Bloc following the collapse of communism.
"She will be very sorely missed by councillors, residents and all who knew her."
Cllr Barbara Rice, Mayor of Thurrock, added: "My thoughts and prayers are with Diane’s close friends and family at this difficult time.
"Diane will be fondly remembered for her service to the borough of Thurrock, in particular her time as mayor."