Known as ‘Mr Bromsgrove’, Pete also spent six years as a Conservative councillor in the town after his retirement in 2009.
His widow Kath, 67, said in doing so he had “just wanted to carry on doing the same things he did in the newspaper – helping the people of Bromsgrove”.
She added: “He started from humble beginnings and never thought he would get a job in Bromsgrove as a chief reporter. He was very proud of Bromsgrove.
“He was a Bromsgrove man through-and-through and he was very proud to be working on his hometown paper. He was never happier than when he was talking to people.”
Pete started out as an apprentice compositor with the Messenger aged 15 after leaving school.
After it was purchased by the Berrow’s Organisation, he moved to Worcester to produce the paper and other weekly titles, before retraining as a journalist for the Messenger in 1988.
Pete’s former editor Mark Whitehouse, who worked with him from 1997 to 2001, said: “He was a great guy, a friendly face, and a wise man with a good sense of humour.
“He was affectionately known as Mr Bromsgrove and rightly so. He knew everyone and more importantly everyone knew him.
“He was a nice guy and a family guy. He was a great smiler and was really good company. He always had something interesting to say or knew something interesting.
“Although I was his editor and he looked to me for guidance, often he was the one teaching me something. I am really sad to hear the news and will miss him.”
Another former editor, Alan Wallcroft, said: “He was a gentleman and consummate professional, dedicated to his work. It is so sad to hear about the passing of such a dear old friend and fantastic journalist.”
Pete is survived by Kath, their children Andrew, Heidi, and Julie, and grandchildren James, Rebecca, Peter, and Joseph.
He died on 22 October after a short illness, and his funeral was held yesterday.