A much-loved charity fundraiser penned her own obituary to tell her loved ones she had ‘finally popped her clogs’.
Jean Hedley, 91, prepared her own death notice to invite family and friends to her funeral.
And she even prepared a farewell to be read at the service, which was ‘packed’ with mourners.
For her death notice, she wrote: “Jean Hedley would like to say to all her loving family and friends that she has finally POPPED HER CLOGS and gone to be with Ted, her loving late husband who she has missed terribly for 25 years.”
And she urged those she left behind: “Don’t be sad, she was ready, it was time to go. There are to be no flowers, no tears, no sad poems or hymns.
“Only smiles, happy memories and pretty colours at her send off. Your love, support and kindness have been wonderful and I’ll miss you all.”
Thoughtful to the last, she had prepared a poem and speech to be read at her own funeral service.
Her family told how she was born “in the middle of a snow storm” in 1927. She had a career in finance, working for the Coal Board, and married “the love of her life”, late husband Ted in 1947.
Following his death in 1993, Jean, who had no children, “made a new life” in the heart of the community supported by lifelong friend Betty Shepherd.
She helped raise thousands of pounds for local causes and set up a line dancing class which she ran for 20 years.
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Her niece Pam Bolam described her as the ‘richest lady ever – family and friends rich, the best kind of rich’.
“She always said after she pops her clogs she hopes everyone else keeps their dancing shoes on,” she recalled.
“She invested her time, expertise and love in people and was surrounded always by love and admiration for her warmth, generosity, self deprecating humour and her many talents.”
They included baking, sewing, embroidery, and knitting. Pam added: “Jean had a heart so big that it comfortably fitted all of us in. It treasured each and every one and made us all feel special.”
She died on October 24. Her funeral was yesterday at Durham crematorium, with her obituary appearing in her local paper.
Born in Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, she lived the last year of her life in Aycliffe care home, Newton Aycliffe, where she received more than 100 cards for her 91st birthday.
Amanda Maclean, administrator at the care home, said: “She was loved by everybody.
“The funeral was very moving. It was packed and the piece that she had written herself summed her up – she had no regrets.”
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