RETIRED market gardener, Vida Nicholson, of Whitwell Road, Empingham, died at Peterborough City Hospital, aged 87.
Born into a farming family at Stowe, Lincolnshire, Vida was the daughter of Gustav and Ethel Nottingham, the youngest of nine children. She was educated at Fane School, Stamford.
When the family moved to farm at Wittering she met and married Alexander Nicholson, who was serving as an engineer with the RAF during the Second World War. They had three daughters and settled in Empingham. Tragically daughter Mary died when she was 29 leaving two small daughters. Vida and Alexander then became parents a second time bringing up their two small granddaughters.
Vida’s passion was her garden and she became a market gardener, nurturing and selling flower and vegetable plants. Such was her reputation that the late Geoff Hamilton bought her plants for his BBC gardening programme. In the last few months of her life she spent many happy hours in her garden, planning and planting with Tony, a fellow passionate gardener. Her other hobbies included knitting, sewing and embroidery.
Widow of Alexander, she leaves her daughters Andrea and Linda, grandchildren Paul, Tizzy, Robin, Louella and Claire and great grandchildren Michael and Adam.
The funeral service took place at Empingham Methodist Church, the Rev Russell Parker officiating. Organist was Mrs Sylvia Leech.
Family mourners included: Andrea Frith, Linda Nicholson, Ronald Frith, Glynn Oliver, Carol and Paul Frith (representing Michael and Adam Frith), Tizzy Oliver, Robin Frith, Louella Nicholson, Claire Darley, Nicola McRoberts, Simon Hurn.
Sympathisers included: Dick Weed (representing Val Scarborough), Joan Palmer (Win Clapton), Andy Wareham, Josie Porter (Dave Porter), Lynda Jones (Paul), Sarah Jones (Neil McRoberts), Heather and Roger Corby (Johnathan), Margaret Pollard (Brian and Rachel), Sue Wand (Andrew, Lucy, Matthew and Kayleigh Cutforth), Jane Thomas (Sally and Anne Marson), Ivan and Diana Bland (Jonathan), Anthony and Christine Jeffries (Caroline Blenkinsop), Janet and Derrick Britton, Vera Branson (family), Pauline Kew, Marion Mews, Sally and Alan Lambert, Empingham Garden Club (Betty and Ian Lyon, Vic and Freda Lambert), Margaret Thraves, Lilian Rawlings (Emma), John and Shirley Hibbitt (Joanna, Lucy and Emma), Margaret Woodhead and family (Ron Griffin and family), John Green (June), Teresa Purvis (Mick Purvis and family), Martyn Bentham, Eileen Baker (Peter Baker, Royal British Legion), Eileen and Ian Ray, Lorna Rose, Peggy Revell, Russ Hibbitt (Natalie Hibbitt), Mary Udale, Jean Hammond (Empingham Royal British Legion), Tony and Mary Ruscillo (family), Joyce and Peter Lambert (family), Monty and Edna Tyler, John and Ann Archer, Laureen Wing and family, Anne Rawlings (Edie Aisthorpe, Mary Taylor), Pauline Griffiths (Gwyn Griffiths, Pat Samson), Mandy Knowles.