Pair died within five days of each other

By David GreenA SON has paid tribute to his father and mother who died within five days of each other.Mary Gardner died on Monday at the age of 81 - five days after the death of her husband, Edgar, who was 87.

By David Green

A SON has paid tribute to his father and mother who died within five days of each other.

Mary Gardner died on Monday at the age of 81 - five days after the death of her husband, Edgar, who was 87.

Their son, John, who runs the family farm in Billingford, near Diss, said: “I think once dad died, my mum gave up. She wanted to be with him again. I think she was ready to go.”


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The couple, who celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary on February 10, will be buried together in the village churchyard after a funeral service on February 26.

Mr Gardner said his parents had been a loving couple and would be greatly missed. “Their home and family were the centre of their lives. They had very few wants,” he added.

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His mother had been in Hartismere Hospital in Eye for about a year, but he had taken his father, who lived in a residential home for the elderly in Scole, to see her once a week.

“My mother couldn't swallow because of her illness, but they used to exchange a few words,” said Mr Gardner.

He added his father had moved to Common Farm in Billingford from Oakley, where the family had run the village shop. “The first year's rent was paid for by the number of rabbits he killed,” said Mr Gardner.

In those days the 400-acre farm employed four workers. Now it provides work for only one, in addition to Mr Gardner himself.

“My father loved his shooting and his bowls. He played outdoor bowls at Scole and indoors at Diss and was still playing up to nine years ago,” he said.

Apart from his son and two granddaughters, Sarah and Nicole, Edgar Gardner leaves two elder sisters, Rose, who lives in Stoke Ash, and Emmie who used to farm in Monk Soham, but is now in a nursing home in Witnesham, near Ipswich. His other son, Philip, died in a road crash in 1977.

Family flowers only are being requested for the funeral, but donations can be made to Eye Health Centre, Hartismere Hospital and Billingford Church, via Rackhams Funeral Service, Stanley Road, Diss.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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