October 2 2014 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Sunday, July 20, 2014
An undertaker who arranged a funeral on the day her own husband died has bowed out of the business after 45 years.
Lydia Grace, 73, is putting her feet up after bidding a fond farewell to James Hawes Funeral Service.
The firm, in North Street, Romford, thanked their colleague for her years of service by holding a party to mark her retirement and birthday.
Lydia said: “After 45 years of working for James Hawes I did not believe I had made as many friends and I was amazed and thankful that they all turned up for my party.
“Thank you to all my colleagues and friends for making my 45 years at North Street so good.”
Over the years, Lydia, who has three daughters – Hazel, 47, Carole, 45, and Kerry, 41 – has supported many residents who have lost loved ones.
Hazel said: “She is well known by lots of people in Romford, having looked after lots of families in their dark hours.
“She was able to engage with the families and get them talking in a positive way about the loved ones they had just lost.
“She dedicated her life to this; so much so that even on the day my dad died she was answering the phone in the office and even arranged a funeral for a gentleman who had just lost his wife.”
Lydia, who said she would particularly like to thank colleague Roy Allen for his “enormous help”, is looking forward to spending more time with her family.
She said: “Since I have retired, when I see people I have known for years I can talk to them and ask them how they are, rather than wave to them as we rush past each other.
“I am looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren Aaron and Grace and spending longer holidays in Tenerife.”