THE CLARENCE Valley has lost two of its most most devoted servants with the deaths of Sue and Jeremy Challacombe in a car crash on the Pacific Hwy at South Grafton yesterday afternoon.
The couple died after their car rolled several times near the intersection of the highway and Tyson St about 2.30pm
Mrs Challacombe died at the scene and Mr Challacombe several hours later in Coffs Harbour Hospital.
The Challacombes have been closely involved in many areas of public life in the region and beyond.
Clarence valley Council Mayor, Cr Richie Williamson, described the couple as enormous assets to the community.
"On behalf of the Clarence Valley Council and residents of the Clarence Valley, I offer my most sincere condolences to the Challacombe family on the loss of Councillor Jeremy Challacombe and his wife Sue," he said.
"Jeremy and Sue were enormous assets to our community and worked tirelessly to make it a better place for all residents.
"Flags at council facilities will be at half-mast for the remainder of the week as a mark of respect.
"Our prayers and thoughts are with relatives and friends as they try to come to grips with this sudden and tragic loss."
Heavily involved in politics, Mr Challacombe was vice chairman of the NSW Nationals and president of the local party branch. He was a Clarence Valley Councillor at the time of his death.
In business he was president of the Grafton Chamber of Commerce for a number of terms, resigning in 2012 to join the council.
The Challacombe's farm at South Grafton was renowned for its delicious strawberries and the couple was a fixture at local markets selling their trademark strawberry ice cream.
Mr Challacombe was intimately involved with markets in the Clarence Valley, organising the Grafton Farmers and Growers and Yamba markets.
He was also the chairman of the council's Saleyards Committee.
The couple were also closely involved in the education in the Clarence Valley.
Mrs Challacombe was a long-serving mathematics and agriculture teacher at the Clarence Valley Anglican School. She retired last year. Mr Challacombe also served as a chair of the CVAS school council.