THE funeral service for Gladys Birch, of Middle Street, Wing, took place at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Wing, the Rev Stuart Mitchell officiating. Interment in the churchyard followed. Donations were made to the work of the parish church.
Mrs Birch died at the Leicester Royal Hospital, aged 95, after suffering ill health recently, with great fortitude.
Born in Preston, near Uppingham, the youngest of six children, she was educated at Preston Primary School and Uppingham School. On leaving school she worked at Chesterman’s in Wing, as a nursery maid. In October 1938 Gladys married Raymond Birch of Wing, at Preston Church.
They settled in Station Cottages, Wing Hollow, eventually moving into the middle of the village in 1947, and have lived in their thatched cottage ever since.
Being keen whist players, Gladys and Raymond enjoyed whist drives all around the county, and won numerous prizes on their travels. Gladys delivered the parish magazines, and took her turn in cleaning the brass in Wing Church. She was well known as the newspaper lady in the village, and carried out this vital work for more than 30 years, the papers arriving daily from WH Smith in Oakham. However, after retirement she still found time to collect a few papers from the point in the village, and deliver them to friends.
Above all, Gladys loved looking after her grandchildren, who she adored. In fact, over the years, any mother who needed a hand knew where to look for help, Gladys would oblige and would be seen wheeling children in a pram around the village.
When out with her grandchildren, a favourite walk would be around Wing Burrows.The family were delighted that she, along with Raymond, was able to attend the christening of her sixth great grandchild on May 1, this year.
Close family, relations and friends were always welcome at the house and well looked after, and she always put others before herself. She leaves her widower Raymond, who she had been married to for 72 years, daughter Angela, son Robert, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Family mourners included: Raymond Birch, Angela and Philip Rudkin (representing Mandy Pink, Toby Pink, Paul Houston), Steven and Clare Rudkin, Robert Birch and Kay Lambert (Christopher and Ann Birch, Alys and Matthew Birch, Janet Birch), Louise and Steven Shields, Sam and Daisy Shields, Jason and Becky Smith (Emily and Amy).
Sympathisers included: Andrew Morriss and Nick Boothby (Shirley Jones, Matthew Morris, Carl Jones), Max and Eileen Winslow, Mrs Watts (family, Mrs Dunn and family), Jane Peach, Jeffy and David Wood (Christopher, Charlie and James Peach, Anne Thomson), Cis Boothby, Dorothy Buckby, Jane Tabberer (Sarah Bodily, Marcus Tabberer), Jacqui Salt, Richard Armstrong, Cyril Armstrong (Maisie Armstrong), Brenda and Bryan Spooner, Andy Howarth, Christine Howarth, Judith Leahy (Patrick Leahy), Felicity Bream (Steven Bryan), Elizabeth Newsham, James Newsham, Ian Newsham, Wendy Newsham (Robert Newsham), Diana Churchill (Martin Churchill), Helen Eldridge (Michael Eldridge, Scott, Luke, Sam and Katie), C Harris, R Munton, Chris Weston, Mrs Sheila Love (Mrs Ruth Pick), Ruth and Stan Walker, Doreen Adcock (Mr Adcock and family), Jan Hollowell (Brian Hollowell), Helen Bateman (Richard Bateman), Peter and Pam Cox (family), Freddie and Brenda Beaver, John and Maureen Beaver (Mel and Ted Colston), Fred and Nora Gardner (family, Mrs M Ward), Nick Knight (Liz Knight), Ros King (Reo, Robert King), George and Janet Ridley, Sheila Casey (Tony Casey), Jean and Fred Davies, David Britton (Rosie Munton), Jacqui Courtnell (Mark Courtnell), Robin and Bianca Curley (Tamsyn, Melandra and Lynda Curley).
Jane Alexander-Orr (Alisdair, Harriett and Lucie), Nicholas Burrows, Karen Burrows, Mary and Richard Tullock, Debbie, Steve and Tania Pettigrew, Sylvia and Roger Mackay (Bill and Barbara Sewell), Peter and Wendy Leesing, Gloria and Dennis Whight (family), Dawn Prior, Sylvia Clark (family), Jim, Ann, Rebecca and Abigail Wild (Richard, Catherine, Emily, Lewis and Charlotte Wild), Jamie and Sue Wild (Ben and Ella Wild), Ken and Jo Fisher, Sam Johnson, Val Collins (Rob Collins), Mavis Rowlett (Jeff), David Wing (Carol Wing), Chris and John Hackett, Bernard and Margaret Wing, Val Martin-Pope (Adrian Martin-Pope), Shirley Suffling (John Suffling), John and Daphne Hawkins (Graham), Peter Wing, Stephanie Wing (Betty Wheeler), Tony Clark, Peter and Chris Scott (Jonathan, Laura and families), Sal and Al Lambert (Chantima and Russell Lambert, Selina and Will White and family, Freda and Vic Lambert), Trevor and Ann Wild, Sharon Halliday (Pete, Emelia and Lydie Halliday), Lynda Watchorn (Mark, Joe, Lauren and Sam Watchorn), Julia Panchmatia, Wendy Benskin, Edna McCall (Tom McCall), Richard Houlden (family).